Bring Snacks

My sermon yesterday seemed to go long. We’ll see after it is posted online just how long it was. But I had to simply summarize the last point, and that weakly, to allow our service to end on time.

The irony of this, of course, is that the sermon was on the shortest chapter in the bible – Psalm 117, a mere two verses. This led one member to quip, “If this is how long you go with the shortest chapter in the bible, when you preach on ‘Jesus wept’ [the shortest English verse] I’m bringing snacks.”

Which led some to whom I told this story to ask how long a sermon should be. I always answer that question with the very wise answer of the British pastor and author John Stott who said something like this: “It does not matter how long a sermon is as long as it seems like twenty minutes.”

But I don’t mind if you bring snacks.

6 thoughts on “Bring Snacks

  1. Penni Holt

    I didn’t notice any extra length in the sermon. I was struck with the masterful work of the Holy Spirit enabling you to preach a powerful Lenten sermon from this very brief psalm.

  2. I agree with Penny and I was surprised when you commented about the time. A powerful and moving sermon and one in which I will reflect on. I needed this and wouldn’t have minded ignoring the clock.

  3. Suzanne and Penni – you guys are too kind. The person who commented was not being critical, but was making a joke with me. It’s all good. And the sermon itself may not have been long, but the service was running long and so I did need to bring it to a close. But thanks for your encouraging words.

    1. I think we both realized they were joking, just noting that being caught up in the moment didn’t even realize the time had passed so quickly. 🙂 I am certainly in favor of the snacks as long as we include the coffee.

  4. The point I found interesting was Jesus’ reason for driving out the animal sellers and money-changers. The text says nothing about anyone being cheated. But if it was happening in the court of the Gentiles, then the operations were still taking place within the Temple area, instead of outside of it. The part about the den robbers comes from the part of Jeremiah where the people are taken to task for thinking they can claim safety in the Temple without regard to their behavior.

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