I’ll be honest I like listening to a good sermon every now and then. I could list a few of my favorites for you; at some point maybe I’ll even provide links to mp3’s of sermon’s that really moved me. There is also a good bit of Biblical support for sermons. Jesus seemed to like to sermonize it up every so often; my personal favorite is the “Sermon on the Mount.” Paul had quite a few lengthy sermons, and the first thing Peter does once he has the Holy Spirit is give a sermon. The word “Preach” shows up in the NIV 123 times (according to Biblegateway). Paul even goes off about the Rights of an Apostle in I Corinthians 9 (which is probably where we get our justification for having a paid pastor). The idea of a weekly meeting for a sermon probably comes from one of my favorite passages Acts 2:42-47.
So by now your probably thinking my goal was to answer the question presented in the title: Why the Sermon? Your maybe even a little bit convinced, or you’ve at least added some Bible verses to support it. So if that’s all you wanted, stop now and read no further.
I still wonder “Why the sermon?” If we are going to follow the Acts passage we should be meeting together daily, and also going to each others homes and eating together; we should be selling our possessions and sharing everything in common. And maybe our pastors should even be doing miraculous signs.
If we are going to hear out Paul’s words to the Corinthians then maybe we should also be advocating for more circuit preachers. Maybe we should stop the calls for money and just be giving it.
And when I look at most of the preaching done in the early church it seems very much the focus was on the necessity of getting the story of Jesus right. It seems the goal wasn’t to have something nifty to say each Sunday, but rather it was to preach the story to those who don’t know it, and to clarify Jesus to those who might have heard a incorrect message concerning him.
Maybe, once we’ve got a pretty good handle on the story and we’ve got a decent idea of what this Christian life is requiring of us (if your still real confused, read Jesus’ words he gives at least one sermon that is quite straight forward), then we should quit the sermons and just starting doing what we are supposed to be doing. What does that look like? I’m not quite sure yet.