Thursday, June 21, 2012

Morning Meditation

"Why is it," asked one of my elders the other day, "that your Sunday evening sermons are more pessimistic than your morning sermons?"  I think what he really meant is that they were more critical in analyzing life's problems.  I told him that I tried to give inspiration in the morning and education in the evening.

But the fact is that circumstance probably affects the quality of the message as much as purpose.  A full church gives me the sense of fighting with a victorious host in the battles of the Lord.  A half empty church immediately symbolizes the fact that Christianity is very much a minority movement in a pagan world and that it can be victorious only by snatching victory out of defeat.

--Reinhold Niebuhr, Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic, Louisville, Kentucky:  Westminster/John Knox Press, 1980, p. 34-35.

1 comment:

  1. Windhorse1:21 AM

    “...I think I have solved the Sunday night problem for good. I give a short address or sermon upon a more or less controversial moral issue, or upon a perplexing religious question, and after closing the service we have half-hour to forty-five minutes of discussion. The group attracted by this program is not large. It is not the usual forum crowd. But it is a group of unusually thoughtful people, and the way they explore the fundamental themes and problems of life is worth more than many sermons.

    Reinhold Niebuhr, Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic