The abbot of the monastery called the novice into his office and instructed him to give the homily at the next morning's chapel. Well, the novice was struck with fear.
(When there are surveys taken in the United States of greatest fears, the number one fear is to stand up in front of a group of people and give a speech. Things like nuclear explosion, terrible disease, unemployment, and come down the list after standing in front of a group.)
This young novice had apparently voted many times in the surveys, because there was no way that he was going to do it; but the abbot insisted.
So the next morning, chapel came. He stood in the pulpit. The brothers were there. His hands were trembling. His knees were knocking. His voice was quivering. There was a long pause before he first spoke, and he asked a question.
"Do you know what I'm going to say?" They had no idea, so all of their heads went back and forth almost in unison, as if it were choreographed. He said, "Neither do I. Let's stand for the benediction."
The abbot did not appreciate this. So he called the young novice into his office and said, "You must do this. It's for your own good. Tomorrow is your day again. Be prepared, and this time do it right."
The next day was almost an exact repeat of the day before. All the brothers sat there before him. His hands shook. His knees knocked. His voice trembled. Long pause. "Do you know what I'm going to say?" he asked.
Well, after the previous day's experience, they had a pretty good idea. All of their heads went, Yes, we know what you're going to say.
"Then there's no need for me to tell you. Let's stand for the benediction."
The abbot was angry beyond ...
This sermon is available to PreachingToday.com members only.