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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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25 Responses to 981

  1. Jonathan Hurshman says:

    I appreciate your point, but I think your figure for the Sermon on the Mount is off by quite a bit. Matthew 5-7 (excluding the last two verses of 7, which are not part of the sermon proper) is 109 verses. I don’t think one can read those out loud in 120 seconds and be understood. In the audio Bible I have, Matthew 5-7 takes 15:15.

  2. Tom C says:

    I was at a youth workers convention a few years back and one of the guest speakers was Shane Claiborne. He came up on stage and boldly pronounced that he was about to preach the greatest sermon ever…

    and proceeded to read the sermon on the mount.

    it was AWESOME!

  3. Tom C says:

    certainly took longer than 2 minutes though….

  4. I got a U in maths so I don’t even know if the sum is a real one, on the subject of sermons, it wouldn’t be so bad if they were not like a maths lesson ‘boring’ & ‘irrelevant’. In the church I currently reside we seem to have the opposite because if the speaker goes on for more than 10 minutes they are given a good ol rollicking.

    Pi now theres a subject I like, give me a bit of pie and Ill listen to your sermon.

  5. goodfield says:

    Didn’t some of the Old Testament sermons by the prophets take all day and were attended by huge crowds?

  6. jonbirch says:

    dennis… quite right too. :-)

    hey jonathan… i was, probably ignorantly, referring specifically to the beatitudes… as the rest seems to be a list of sayings of jesus and not necessarily one sermon. i should have said ‘beatitudes’ to save confusion.
    in fact… hope no one minds, but i’m going to amend the cartoon… thanks for the helpful input chaps. :-)

  7. jonbirch says:

    i have now cheated and amended the cartoon so as i make the point i meant to more clearly.
    now we can all discuss whether the beatitudes was the entirety of what jesus said at this moment or not. :-)

  8. sunil says:

    Let’s forget the sermon. Oh actually we do. Most of us remember more songs than sermons. There’s an equation in there somewhere!

  9. Ben says:

    Paul preached until people fell asleep! As others point out Sermon on the Mount takes 15-20 minutes. Jesus preached for so long that people forgot to eat (the fed the 5,000).

    Think you’re selecting biblical examples to make your point – something a preacher would never do.

  10. Si says:

    Don’t forget that at the feeding of the 4000 (yes that is a four, not a five: see the start of Mark 8 or the end Matt 15), the crowds had been with Jesus listening to him teach for 3 days!

    I’ve given a 4 minute talk that was a minute too long and heard sermons that were delivered at some pace to fit them in as the hour-plus amount of time allocated wasn’t enough and then were still perhaps a bit too short. Ideal sermon-length is a piece of string question – depends on all sorts – occasion, congregation, passage, speaker, etc and we seem to have it backwards allocating, or expecting, a certain time and then writing the sermon to that.

  11. jonbirch says:

    si… 3 days, but not a single report on what he said. the pithy stuff seems to have stuck though. interesting. paul preached until people fell asleep, kind of says it all. that’s clearly where it all began. :-)
    as sunil says above, i’m struggling to remember a sermon and i’ve heard hundreds. i remember some of them were good at the time and maybe that’s the point, but most i would have been okay not having heard. i do however remember a few anecdotes and illustrations.
    do a collection of sayings of jesus add up to a sermon in the way we think of it today. i don’t really think so. it doesn’t read like a sermon, but a set of remembered sayings. don’t get me wrong, it’s really good.

  12. Sermons can be edifying – the same with a lecture. I love to continue to expand my horizons. But I find that after 6 months, the priest/pastor/minister has taught me everything they know and I really tune out (another reason why I strongly encourage churches to allow for lay and guest preaching) – if I continue with a church it’s not the word but the worship with other broken believers that will keep me going back.

    What I remember are small acts of kindness done to me when I was ready to give up – that to me is putting the teachings of Christ into action. Where I connect with people is at the communion cup through the beauty of ritual.

  13. Frank says:

    I’ve always thought the entire slot of time called the “sermon” was a waste of time. People have fallen out of windows and been killed!

  14. janetp says:

    Cheating or not, I love this cartoon :0)

  15. janetp says:

    Sorry. Meant it to be :)

  16. Ros says:

    I’ve often thought that the vicar’s sermons were too long. Still at least there’s good jokes and a few interesting Northernisms in them.

  17. AnneDroid says:

    How long is the ideal sermon? I hate cliches… but, really, how long is a piece of string?

    I agree with Si – 4 minutes might be too long and an hour might seem too short. There are so many factors at work, and hopefully God gets to take charge and surprise us sometimes.

    In 1991 I went to hear Billy Graham preaching in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Each time I thought “is that it?” at the end of the sermon, and “huh, no one will come forward after that” and yet each time many streamed forward. It certainly wasn’t emotionalism as if anything the preaching was pretty flat. On reflection, though, the people who came forward were mostly people who had been brought by Christian friends and family who’d been loving them, praying for them, showing them, for weeks/months/years and all BG was reaping the harvest they’d sown.

    What I’m trying to say is that the sermon is important, but a completely pointless exercise if preacher and congregation are there with the wrong attitude!

    I’ve been (a) a preacher with a bad attitude, (b) a congregational member with a bad attitude, (c) a preacher with the right attitude and (d) a congregational member with the right attitude!

    I reckon that when you have (c) and (d) together in the same building God can do business. :)

  18. sunil says:

    I wonder if the sermon has become idolatrous considering how a majority of our worship is geared towards it. It will be good to take a break from it to put it back in it’s rightful place

  19. penninegilly says:

    What’s the purpose of a sermon anyway?
    Surely it’s not to accumulate facts……….?

    So can we ever measure the worth of a sermon by what we remember?
    Or is it by the way our lives have changed?

  20. linus says:

    peninegilly: i guess the concern is that the sermons we hear are not life changing. And that the balance between practical demonstration/interaction on one side, and passive learning of theory on the other, is way out of kilter. Also, the realisation that a lot of what you’re hearing from the preacher seems totally at odds with your day to day experience and/or your understanding of science/theology/human nature etc.

  21. Kim says:

    If we put into practice 1% of the Gospel messages we’ve heard in sermons and read in our own Bibles surely the world would be changed forever. The sermon is only as good as the action taken as a result of it.

  22. treeandleaf says:

    But Jesus had to explain the parable of the sower to the disciples afterwards!

  23. jonbirch says:

    exactly treeandleaf… story + explanation in under 1 minute. try it for yourself. :-)

  24. Jane says:

    Or 5-45 times as good?

  25. Pingback: Just for Fun | life :: pure and simple

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