I’ve been reading “The Sermon Doctor” by Harry Farra with my associate minister. It’s a great little book and we’re using it to sharpen our skills together. In the book, Farra’s Sermon Doctor quotes Martin Luther in saying, “the preacher was part of the sermon . . . you couldn’t separate the sermon from the sermonizer. We become part of the message.” I felt the weight of that this past Sunday.
Fifteen years ago my brother committed suicide. In preaching this series on death I knew that I would have to address suicide and to do so I would have to dig deep into my personal experiences. I doubt I’ve ever preached as personal a sermon as this one.
As with other sermons in this series, this one begins with a practical talk. This one is from Kay Wheeler, a hospice nurse who explains what hospice is and does.