Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Purpose of a Sermon

What do you think is the purpose of a sermon?

Some pastors do create an exegesis. It's very cognitive, intellectual, and without heart. Sometimes heart is included to make it more contemplative. On the other side of the spectrum, we have pastors who make very applicable messages that help us apply our relationships with God to daily life.

I prefer the latter. I see the message as more focused on bonding us with Christ and encouraging our spiritual formation. I prefer to do Bible studies in small groups or individually.

The more ancient tradition of sermons centered the service around the Eucharist (AKA communion). So the sermon was to encourage contemplation and connection with Christ to prepare our hearts and minds to ingesting Christ. Many Protestant churches today, though, just include the cognitive piece without the heart piece. Others include only the heart piece without any grounding in good theory (biblical, psychological, theoretical, theological, or otherwise).

Perhaps there is no right or wrong, but rather what individuals need at a certain point in life and based on their traditions. What say you?


  1. I prefer the sermons delivered by Pastors, that help us apply our relationships with God to daily life as you said and I agree. Also, I like the actual Scripture verses and their full meaning in context to be explained, in support of the Pastor's sermon.

    I do like to have communion regularly at the end of services. Sadly, some churches like The Roman Catholic church have an interpretation of Communion which now excludes non-Catholics and Catholics who have not followed a strict regimen of confession and other edicts. For couples like my wife and I where my wife has returned to her Catholic upbringing after 40 years, this makes attending church together less than comfortable for both of us. Fear, stemming from a teaching that excludes non-Catholics while also claiming a sin for the Catholic party if they do not confess and then partake of Communion, to me is so sad! I mention this situation in a personal way as it clearly shows how a fixation on strict old time practices are best replaced, I feel, with Scriptural teachings that reflect today's more educated community. But fear often overshadow educated common sense sadly.

    Couples like my wife and I after 36 years marriage do work out a solution accepting eachother's needs, but for younger couples this can break a marriage and religion should never be that powerful.


  2. PS to my earlier post:

    To be clear, I am not a member of Roman Catholic Church and my wife left that church as a teenager when she was 15 years old, after a childhhood raised in a strict Catholic community and family.

    Blessings to all amd Happy 2010 to all! J-M



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