Monday, July 19, 2010

The sermon and the lunch (Part 1)

[This essay by CS Lewis was published in the Church of England Newspaper in 1945. It's quite a surprisingly insightful look at preaching from the lay people's side of the pulpit!]

‘And so’, said the preacher, ‘the home must be the foundation of our national life. It is there, all said and done, that character is formed. It is there that we appear as we really are. It is there we can fling aside the weary disguises of the outer world and be ourselves. It is there that we retreat from the noise and stress and temptation and dissipation of daily life5mins to seek the sources of fresh strength and renewed purity . . .‘  And as he spoke I noticed that all confidence in him had departed from every member of that congregation who was under thirty. They had been listening well up to this point. Now the shufflings and coughings began. Pews creaked; muscles relaxed. The sermon, for all practical purposes, was over; the five minutes for which the preacher continued talking were a total waste of time — at least for most of us.

C.S. Lewis, "The Sermon and The Lunch" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 282.

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