I’m never sure how to take compliments about sermons. If people “enjoyed” a sermon, did it do anything for them? Maybe not. If they “got a lot out of it,” did the intended message really get through? Who knows. Perhaps I should be worried when people ask for copies of a sermon. Do they want to use it against me at some future time? Are they going to send it to the bishop with a letter of complaint? I suppose I should just accept the fact that once in a while what comes from the pulpit actually hits home, and the comments afterward really are what they are.
At any rate, several people gave a “thumbs up” for the sermon on Easter morning. I don’t usually post sermons, but I have this time and you can read it at this link on our parish web site in the "St. Peter's News Blog" section. I think a sermon is never as effective when someone’s reading it, compared to hearing a sermon from a real live person who believes what he’s saying. Plus, the setting helps. Nothing adds weight to words more than climbing up the seven steps into the wine-glass pulpit, surrounded by stained glass and the smell of incense.
I usually have the feeling that I should make use of the old homiletics professor’s point. The story goes that a great preacher died, and when they were going through his papers they found manuscripts of his sermons. Several times there were marginal notes which read, “Weak point. Pound pulpit.”
So if you read the sermon, feel free to pound on something occasionally for added emphasis.