February 13, 2011

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 Matthew 5:21-37 Can you think of a sermon that changed your life? Can you remember a speech that transformed the way you think or feel about life, about faith, about God? Maybe you can think of a sermon preached from this very pulpit by one of our previous ministers. Maybe you are remembering a speech by a political figure, by a leader in human rights and justice, or by a major religious leader. I remember a lecture given by one of my favourite preachers, Barbara Brown Taylor. I don’t remember exactly what she said. But I remember the way I felt as I listened to her. I remember the way her words made sense to me, and how I suddenly understood my own calling to be a preacher in a new and deeper way. When rightly used and directed, a skilfully prepared and delivered speech can take on a life-transforming importance. And even if we can’t recall the exact words that affected us so deeply, few people can claim that they have never been so deeply moved by a powerful speech or sermon that they have changed the direction of their lives. Although it is encouraging and inspiring to think that my own Sunday sermons might carry that kind of power, it is good to know that we have access to many other sermons, reflections, and writings which can both supplement and inform what any given minister might preach on Sunday morning. In fact, in today’s readings from … Read more »