Sermon Illustrations


The address is not given for the speaker’s sake, in order that men may praise or blame him. The listener’s repetition of it is what is aimed at. If the speaker has the responsibility for what he whispers, then the listener has an equally great responsibility not to fall short in his task.

In the theater, the play is staged before an audience who are called theatergoers, but at the devotional address, God himself is present. In the most earnest sense, God is the critical theatergoer, who looks to see how the lines are spoken and how they are listened to.

Hence, here the customary audience is wanting. The speaker then is the prompter, and the listener stands openly before God. The listener, if I may say so, is the actor, who in all truth acts before God.

--Soren Kierkegaard.

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