What’s in a sermon?
As last week, I’m drawing on a sermon written by my dear friend and mentor, the late John Weir Cook, who was minister of Henderson Church in Kilmarnock during my teenage years. These sermons are dated 1985, before we all had laptops, and I was allowed by my boss to type them up on the office computer at lunch times.
When John preached at a special anniversary service at my last church, St Aidan’s in Broughty Ferry, a number of people, including David Logan whom many of you know, said that they could see where I got my style from. In today’s offering I have not used quotation marks but perhaps those of you are here regularly will be able to spot John’s input.
And in case you are thinking that this means I haven’t made much effort this week – copying someone else’s work – in fact my sermon ends up in a completely different place from John’s, as happened last Sunday as well. But to use some of his words is my tribute to the man who made real for me the power of the Holy Spirit and who enthusiastically encouraged me to apply for full-time ministry.
John entitled this book “The Word among the words” and even re-reading them so many years later I can still hear his voice speaking them. I always enjoyed listening to him but I didn’t realise what a powerful preacher he was nor, as I sat with my parents in our accustomed pew, that his ministry would have such a lasting effect on my own life.
But we all have such folk for whom to give thanks. They need not be ministers or even religious. Let’s turn to God now and remember them in prayer.
Let us pray
Lord of all time and times
We give thanks for the men, women and children
whose part in our life has enhanced us beyond measure
who now dwell with you in your everlasting kingdom
whom we will never forget
and with whom we are still united by the bonds of love
through Jesus Christ our Saviour