What is a synagogue sermon?

I ran across this interesting characterization of some sermons being preached in evangelical pulpits today. They are sermons with no cross, no Christ crucified, no shed blood and the offer of forgiveness of sin. They are monotheistic – God is, God is personal, God answers prayer, God loves, but there is no redemption other than one or two remarks at the end of the sermon or in the final prayer. This kind of sermon has more in common with the messages in a synagogue than those that should be in a church.

I wonder!!! If the evangelical church in its broad sweep observed the Lord’s Supper each Sunday, I doubt it would ever feel comfortable with such bare monotheism in the pulpit. Or at least if there were such bare monotheism in the pulpit, the Lord’s Supper would be the centripetal force that always brought everyone back to the core of it all.

When I happen upon a Roman Catholic service, there is no mistaking what Christ has done. Most of the sermons I have heard in the local RC church are moralistic, but the Eucharist is another matter altogether. With the weaving together of Scripture, prayer and comment, there is true food and true drink. Christ has died in my place and for me, and by his stripes I have been healed.  I confess my sins and transfer trust to Jesus as the Savior. Is it just me or is that transaction becoming less evident in the evangelical church?

 Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter have centered me again and set me square in the midst of the history of redemption, from the message in the pulpit must emerge.

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