Is Your Sermon a Balm or Band-Aid?

Salve is applied to a wound. It covers the wound like a band aid, but it does much more. Certainly it is important to cover the wound. It is important to block things from getting into the wound. Yes that is important, but a healing balm doesn’t just stop there.

Balm Goes Into the Wound

A healing balm actually goes into the wound. It attempts healing not from the safety of an outsider looking in, but from within the wound. Balm seeps into the wound and attempts healing there.

As I reflect on this important point, I begin to realize the necessity of us preachers walking where the people walk. It is important to see what the people see. It is important to feel, as much as possible, what the people feel. There are many pains in this life, and many sermons are nothing more than a band-aid on a deep cut. It may keep the dirt off of the wound long enough for the healing power of God to actually bring restoration, but couldn’t it be much more than a stop gap method?

Does the Incarnation Permeate Our Pulpit?

What if our sermons were balm instead of a band aid? What if our sermons went into the real experience of the people and attempting healing from there instead of the lofty pinnacle of a humanity detached pulpit? What if the reality of the incarnation (God with us) were taken seriously by us preachers when we stand in the pulpit? What if we attempted to show a God with us in our pains, with us in our hurts, and with us in our struggles?

Yes the best sermons are seasoned with the experiences of real life. But more than experiencing real life, it applies the truth of the Good News of God’s Kingdom to those experiences and thus provide real hope that transcends even our darkest pains. It allows the people to say with the Psalmist, “though I lay my head in hell, you are there.” (Psalm 139:8) Preaching is serious business. And Preaching changes things. Come let us stand up and begin preaching the fullness of God’s message by stating with Jesus: “Its Time, The Kingdom of God is right here.” (Mark 1:15)

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Sherman Haywood Cox II

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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