Good sermon, Reverend

Listening is even better
Martin Copenhaver’s insightful “Handshake ritual” catches the preacher’s attention. The more I am in this business the more ambivalent I feel about the traditional ritual of greeting worshipers after the service. I know myself well enough to understand how much I love those compliments, how seductive and addictive it is to hear “Good sermon, Reverend,” even though the same people say it every Sunday, regardless of what happened or failed to happen in the pulpit that morning. I know that their remark may be no more than an extension of “Good morning.” And I know myself well enough to laugh at the way I begin to tighten and feel anxious if three or four parishioners shake my hand and don’t say it.

 

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