Learning in the pews

Frequently I hear folks teasing Rob and Iain about their long sermons at Trinity.

That teasing has reminded me of sage advice from the political activist Morton Blackwell:

“The mind can absorb no more than the seat can endure.”

Admittedly, this is a problem I encounter when I’m teaching students during hour-and-fifteen-minute class periods. I don’t think Rob or Iain has ever given us an hour-and-fifteen minute sermon, but then I might have fallen asleep, and it only seemed short.

But you have to wonder if there was some hard-won wisdom behind ye olde 15-minute homily. For students, as well as parishioners.

6 responses to “Learning in the pews

  1. That why we stand, sit, stand, sit, stand, kneel, walking by yourself, stand, knell, walk, knell, walk, kneel, sit, stand. No time for the seat to get tired.


  2. Seeing Colin’s post has roused me to defend myself. And in crafting my argument, I think “what would be most useful in persuading Colin away from the 15 min sermon?” Louis Giglio….no. Jerry Falwell….no. Hmmm. John Calvin…probably not. Martin Luther? Maybe. But…an early church father yes! That is an easy win indeed. That will surely win Colin over to long sermons. Picking up any one of the sermons of an early church father should keep you busy for about 45 minutes, which makes me think the actual delivery was round about one hour. So, if we’re going to be “catholic” Christians lets really go for it! Preach for an hour!!! Whoa hoo!!!!


  3. So you’re just gonna add a few minutes?


  4. could you hear me laugh at your place from where I’m sitting?

    In the beginning (of my tenure) was the long sermon, and the long sermon was with Rob, and the long sermon was Rob. He was with Rob in the beginning.

    The long sermon took on flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen its length, the length of the one and only long sermon that comes from Rob, full of notes and Calvin references. And from its lengthiness we have all received calloused rear ends because of our exceedingly hard pews.


  5. So we’re getting seat cushions?


  6. only if you have $15,000. Or…I suppose you could bring an individual cushion. I know of at least one person who does it. But if you did, I might call you a woman.