The sermon. The good, the bad, the indifferent, the truly tasteless, as well as the memorable sermon, are part of our worship memories. So it has been for centuries.
• A layperson sent a letter of complaint to a Lutheran journal in 1913. He had entered a church in San Diego expecting a sermon. Instead he encountered a stereopticon that presented a type of slide show of Italy, "dancing girls and all." He noted with disgust that he had been given "stone instead of the bread of life."
• In the fifth century, John Chrysostom, the archbishop of Constantinople, used a Sunday sermon to scold the faithful few who did come to church for the supposed sins of those who were at the hippodrome enjoying the horse races.
• Acts 20:7-12 records that Paul preached so long one evening that a youth named Eutychus (which means "fortunate") fell out of a window, died and was restored to life by Paul. The writer also slyly notes that after the incident, Paul kept on talking — until dawn.
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers