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Sermons must be serious not shorter, Alf

When Alf McCreary pleads for shorter sermons (June 9), perhaps he is revealing something about hearts that have lost their appetite for Christian truth. To be sure, we preachers can sometimes overstay our welcome, and maybe aspects of our preparation, content and delivery could be improved.

But it is worth remembering that our task is to convey Biblical truth on eternal matters, including the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. Personally, I can think of nothing more important. It may be reasonable for a congregation to expect a sermon to be interesting, but maybe too many make the mistake of treating church as just a form of entertainment for Sunday, instead of an opportunity to worship God and hear His Word.

And if a preacher at a funeral makes some feel uncomfortable by addressing the issue of eternal destiny, he does so out of love for the people in front of him, knowing that they - as he - must one day stand before God to give account.

Preaching does not have to be dour, but it must never be anything less than serious.