Good lepers are those who are healed and never forget the disease they once had. They remember how good clean feels. Bad lepers, on the other hand, are those who are healed and go on acting as if they never had the disease. This Thanksgiving sermon encourages us to model our lives after the leper.
Redundancy is a tricky fellow. An antonym is precision. Most all pastors are guilty of redundancy and short on precision from time to time. All of us have a desire to get it out of our sermons; but before we can eliminate it, we must be able to hear it, which requires trained and dedicated ears. There are two very large dangers with redundancy. The first is the boredom that results from all things twice or thrice said. As has been well said, there is no such thing as a bad short sermon or a long good one.
There is no easy way to answer the question: "Should the preacher provide interactive outlines which the congregation can use to fill in the blanks?" So much depends on the personality of the preacher and the style of delivery. The same goes for the congregation. Some on the left-brain end of the spectrum learn best by cybernetic activities such as filling in blanks. Those on the right-brained end of things like a little more conversational style married to more jolting, creative techniques of learning.
In a sermon by Calvin Miller, he delivered this message: "I doubt if I would even stop to pick up a penny, and yet that which was not to be treasured by me was clearly celebrated by the child. I have been overwhelmed time and again by what seems to be God's sense of wonder. Treasuring the seemingly worthless is somehow like our God."
I am touched by the love of God. When I see the suffering of so many in this tortured world of ours, I am prone to ask myself, "Where is there even an iota of justice?" But I rarely ask myself, "Where is God?" I know God is there and He is in love with His world. He has promised his presence and that is adequate for me, but He has declared His love in the most simplistic and proverbial way. God loves sparrows. And if sparrows, why not us? Sparrows in Jesus' day were sold for a penny, yet not one of them could fall to the ground without the Father's leave.
Self-Importance: The Helpless, Hopeless Man: A Covenant with Your Self-Importance