Daily Devotional

For Aug 01, 2014 ← Return

The Longest Sermon

AN AMAZING FACT:  An Anglican vicar from Lancashire, England, has delivered a 28-hour, 45-minute sermon, breaking the world record for the longest unscripted speech. Chris Sterry, 46, began his marathon sermon June 29, 2001. He was not allowed to repeat himself, talk nonsense, or to pause for more than 10 seconds, but was permitted a 15-minute break every eight hours. Two referees who worked four-hour shifts were on hand to make sure rules were followed.

A former lecturer on the Old Testament, Sterry “talked his way into the Guinness Book of Records” when he took the first four books of the Bible as the text of his sermon. Before he began preaching, he stated, “As a former lecturer on the Old Testament I am looking forward to unlimited opportunity to talk about one of my great enthusiasms.”

Sterry’s sermon was broadcast live every 15 minutes on CNN throughout June 30. He says he undertook the challenge as a fund-raising effort for his church. There were more than 100 people in church when he broke the record. If it looked like he was about to drop off, people in the congregation would “heckle” (encourage) him to keep going. News reports do not indicate whether any of his parishioners also lasted the entire distance!

The Sermon on the Mount was Jesus’ most famous and longest recorded sermon in the Gospels. Given when Christ appointed the twelve disciples, it was like an inaugural address that tells us about how the kingdom of heaven was to operate. The “sermon” was given from a mountain. Just as Moses proclaimed God’s law from Mount Sinai, Jesus’
proclamation from the “mount of blessing” affirmed the same law. What is recorded in the Gospels is probably an abbreviation of the greatest sermon ever given.

When is the last time you prayerfully read through Christ’s Sermon on the Mount? Why not take time to read Matthew 5:1 to 8:1, or the shorter version found in Luke 6:17-49. And it won’t take you 28 hours and 45 minutes!

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
- Matthew 5:1

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
- Matthew 5:2

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