Long, short, boring or riveting, at some point in an Anglican service the priest is expected to stand up and spout. As an exercise in balancing bible with current events; doctrine with experience, it's pretty challenging. Cardinal sins: too much personal information/too little personal information; too much enthusiasm/too little enthusiasm; for a mother - talking about your children too much, especially if they are unfortunate enough to be in the congregation. Evangelicals like 'em long; middle of the road-ers are happy with 10 minutes; Catholically-minded brethren insist on calling them homilies (?) Increasingly I'm wondering how they sit with education theory and practice which rightly values interactive learning. Didn't Jesus do something along those lines too? I sometimes come home and imagine what would have happened if I had just stood up and asked a whole lot of awkward questions that needed debate, stirred things up a bit. After wanging on for a while and noticing that some are looking at the floor/ceiling/have head in hands (clearly responding in profound repentance so that's okay) I do wonder sometimes....and Anglicans are so polite - you never can gauge a response ('Nice sermon, thank you').
So what are people expecting from a sermon? (Thoughts welcome) and what is the general point of it? (Thoughts welcome) And as for the pulpit - in this egalitarian, de-constructing, post-modern era, is it not a totally anachronistic piece of church architecture? Or am I just stirring things up a bit?