Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

Steve’s Sermon

October 16, 2005

My man Steve plagiarized an amazing sermon for our church service. A few thousand years ago, a man named Jesus shared some razor-sharp insights on life, illustrated by the powerless bunch of have-nots who were surrounding him. It seemed unwise to add anything to these words, so we had our friend Steve come and share this sermon, which he memorized several years ago. It was amazing.

As he began, Steve’s presentation seemed to suggest Jesus as a bit of a nervous preacher. Which was a brilliant interpretive move; it offered a lively perspective on these familiar words, and put Jesus’ humanity and brilliance at the center of the sermon. This was no floatey Messiah with perfect hair—this was a gritty man slightly daunted by his mission and by the thousands of people following him around. As Steve continued, he flawlessly integrated the elements found all around him: the eucharist table, the bread, the room, his clothes, the audience, and the beam overhead. And at the parts which sometimes seem harsh or daunting, we saw only confidence and compassion (the comments about the man who builds his house on sandy soil were delivered with cracked voice and tears). All of which made me very grateful for Steve, but even more undone by these beautiful and powerful words.

Posted in:

2 Responses to “Steve’s Sermon”

  1. It’ll be so good to see you guys soon. Dec 16th-20th sound good?

    Great to be with you guys last week.


  2. P3T3RK3Y5 says:

    a compelling interpretation that raised questions… thanks so much steve!!

    agree – it was great to let the words be.

    i can imagine far too many preachers stepping up after that, saying how difficult it would be add to those words, or how hard it would be to follow up jesus words with their own — and then hardly stumbling for the next 25-45 minutes… almost starts to seem disingenuous at some point…

    not that a sermon on “the sermon” couldn’t be done…

    but isn’t it so much better to just eat curry without salt?

Leave a Reply