Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Do you remember the preacher's little boy from the last KD?
If not, go to the right column and click on Clerical Error.
Anyway, that same little boy asked daddy, "How do you write sermons?"
Answer: "I work on the first half throughout the week and God works on the second half while I'm preaching."
Little boy to preacher-daddy: "You're much better at writing sermons than God."
I'm reminded of a recent conversation with a peer who said, "My sermons have been really tough lately. Maybe it's time for a fluff sermon."
Parenthetically, a fluff sermon is saying nothing but saying it eloquently like you know who.
Lots of people like fluff sermons because, well, uh, it doesn't, you know, afflict the comfortable while comforting the afflicted: "I have no idea what he said but he said it so well and I feel sooooooo good about myself because he didn't say I needed to..."
A friend and mentor says fluff sermons are the antithesis of Isaiah 30:8-11; being no heaven good to anyone while being pretty damn bad for everyone.
2 Timothy 4 also comes to mind.
As my friend talked, I thought of Kurt Vonnegut's conclusion to his "sermon" on Palm Sunday 1980 at NYC's St. Clement's Episcopal Church: "This has no doubt been a silly sermon. I am sure you do not mind. People don't come for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God. I thank you for your sweetly faked attention."
Anyway, I urged my friend to forget the fluff by contradiction from conviction: "I'll never forget sitting in a preaching class back in 1974. The class was right after our daily chapel service. Dr. Macleod, before saying anything else, started, 'When you have the privilege of preaching in Miller Chapel, please have something to say or don't waste everybody's time.' Uh, I had just preached in chapel a few minutes earlier. I never forgot that. I haven't been able to preach a fluff sermon ever since."
Of course, I've got another chance on Sunday (3/16) when we celebrate the 175th anniversary of Belvidere, Illinois' First Presbyterian Church!
3 pointless points and a poem.
Can't do it.
He didn't make me that way.
Wish he had.
Maybe I wouldn't be carrying any debt.
So I'm gonna do what B.J. urged me to do when we left seminary, "Give 'em the gospel!"
What do Exodus 20, Philippians 3, Revelation 1, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber have in common with our 175th?
If you can't make it, you can listen live to the second service at 10:00 a.m. by clicking on www.bnnsradio.com at, uh, 10:00 a.m.
You can also watch for next week's edition of The Boone County Journal (www.boonecountyjournal.com) for a superbly written column by Lisa Rodgers about our history. She allowed me to review it before submitting it for publication. It's/she's, again, superb!
Or better yet, make some history for Him!
Blessings and Love!