Monday, February 28, 2011

How many sermons?

I heard a good sermon yesterday. (It has been a while.) Besides the message that correlated the Gospel with our lives today the preacher mentioned the topic of how many different sermons a preacher actually has. He described a fellow clergy person whose idea is that every preacher has really only about six sermons. The same six sermons are described somewhat differently, but stay to the same themes throughout the preacher’s career. Yesterday’s preacher suggested that he has really only one sermon and it concerns the interior life and our finding of God within us as we work through our lives.

One of the aspects that made yesterday’s sermon good in my mind was that I could carry on a conversation in my head with the preacher while the sermon was presented, and then follow up conversation in my head after the worship service concluded, even in this morning. (Yes, it would have been good for me, and perhaps the preacher, to actually engage him in my conversation, perhaps during coffee hour.)

Part of my conversation concerns how many “sermons” each of us has within us as we “preach” our lives in the world. I am reminded of the quote attributed to Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Each of us is preaching our gospel by our actions in our daily lives. How many sermons do we have? I think that I have just one sermon, “God is love.” Grace, undeserved, unearnable gifts of love in our lives.

How many sermons do you express in your life?