“You were really present to us in your sermon today, preacher,” he said on
his way out of church last Sunday. What did he mean by that? Are there
Sundays when I am absent?
I suppose that his remark was an affirmation that this sermon really
seemed to mean something to me. I was “there” in a way that was noticeable
and engaging. Perhaps that is not a bad distinction between a sermon
and a lecture. A lecture is usually a rather “cool” presentation. A few ideas
are put out on the table for reflection, consideration, and possible adoption.
The ideas may mean something to the lecturer or they may not.
On the other hand, in a sermon, there is the expectation that the
preacher will be “present.” The moves made within the sermon must not
simply be general ideas that may or may not have any relevance to the
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