Many of us have heard sermons—at church, on the radio or television, or in some other context. At their best they inspire us to try to lead better lives or to follow Christ Jesus. Yet sometimes they may seem far removed from our personal experience, or we may feel the speaker hasn't quite grasped the kind of help we need.
As a good Christian and church member, Mrs. Eddy heard her share of sermons. And she noticed how much they varied in clarity and depth, as well as message. This experience led her to a new view of sermons. In her major work on Christian healing, Science and Health, she writes, "The best sermon ever preached is Truth practised and demonstrated by the destruction of sin, sickness, and death."Science and Health, p. 201.
There certainly would not be anything theoretical or abstract about a sermon that had enough power to heal the sick and sinning! And we even have an example of the effect of such preaching. Christ Jesus' Sermon on the Mount surely illustrates the relationship of teaching and healing. First, he gave his sermon. Then he healed. Mrs. Eddy valued it so much that she said in her Message to The Mother Church for 1901: "To my sense the Sermon on the Mount, read each Sunday without comment and obeyed throughout the week, would be enough for Christian practice. The Word of God is a powerful preacher, and it is not too spiritual to be practical, nor too transcendental to be heard and understood."'01., p. 11.