Friday, February 13, 2015

Sermon Style

7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. 9 And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.” (Acts 20:7-12 (ESV)
Here  you see the tradition of worshiping on Sunday as they gather for communion on the first day of the week. Paul is in charge of the sermon, which goes exceedingly long. He actually kills a man with the length of it.
We get a hint at the sermon style of Paul later in the text when it says he conversed with them a long while. The sermons weren’t of the type we have today. They were more along the lines of what we have in Bible Studies. This could make the sermons go longer perhaps, but it also kept the attention of the people, for the most part, even late into the night.

I often think about this when it comes to sermon style today. We put a lot of emphasis on sermon prep, and writing. But as Reu says, this reading of sermons is going to kill the Lutheran church. One should always prepare for a sermon, but if you have done that you can ditch the manuscript, and converse with the people. Paul obviously prepared for his sermons but reading them would have been out of the question. 

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