Why sermons still matter

by Apr 7, 2008

At Harbor, we tend to be a little long-winded in our preaching. The 20-minute sermons that some of my pastor-friends preach would only give me enough time for an introduction. This excerpt from an article in Touchstone Magazine by Paul Alms helps to explain why:

The sermon is not just one media stream among others. It is a central way of being who we are, of being a hearer, and of knowing our Creator and Savior as he wants to be known: as a speaker.

So the sermon survives by the grace of God, despite poor preachers and bored people. The experience of hearing even great sermons remains a mundane and often trying event. Even at the best of times, our minds wander, the preacher fumbles, the babies cry. It does not feel extraordinary; we are not transported to the heights of spiritual awareness.

It just feels normal. It is part of our routine.

And perhaps that is as it should be. For at our most typical and average, hidden in human speech and hearing is God himself, imparting his wise foolishness into our stubborn ears. The powerful voice of creation, the incarnate call of Jesus, pushes its way into our ears, and miraculously, we hear.