My first preaching professor told us that there are no original sermons. Someone somewhere has already preached what you are about to preach. Every idea represented in the scripture has been covered for two thousand years. Today preachers build sermons on the ideas of our predecessors.
A young preacher serving his first congregation began his first two week vacation. His first stop was his parent’s home for the week-end. He proudly attended his home church with his parents. They had a new preacher who was full of surprises. As he began the sermon he said, “I have a difficult confession to make. I spent many years in the loving arms of another man’s wife.” Shock and gasp could be heard around the room. He continued on about how much he enjoyed being snuggled to her breast and hearing her say how much she loved him. He went on and on about their loving relationship.
At the moment when everyone was about to lynch him he said, “And that woman is my mother.” The women of the congregation could be heard to say. “Oh how sweet.” They young preacher later was talking to the pastor and said, “That was great can I use that story?” For the rest of his vacation he thought about that wonderful attention getter and looked forward to using it.
Finally back home he began his sermon with that same story. His congregation also went into shock and he could hear angry cries for the congregation. He got a little rattled and suddenly stopped talking. A blank stare came across his face and he said, “For the life of me I can’t remember who she is.”