A recent interesting Christian event took the form of a sponsored service and sermon-a-thon. This involved participants sitting under the back to back ministries of a variety of vicars, pastors, evangelists, and heavy shepherds. The organisers of the event naively thought that the chief challenge faced by participants would be that of trying to stay awake during tedious theological discourses, and therefore sponsorship was on the basis of how long participants could go without slipping into a comatose state. In the light of Acts 20:7-9 the organisers felt this would at least be a Biblical response to sermons. But, of course, things have moved on since days of the days of Acts and the likes of Spurgeon. The buzz words now are congregational involvement and blessing. Consequently, the participants were kept wide awake by vigorous action songs and mid service work outs that got the adrenaline flowing again. Attempts were made to Baptise the congregation in the Holy Spirit no less than six times. Some pastors even tried out some entirely new and as yet unheard of blessings such as the “involuntary yodeling blessing” and - it had to happen eventually - the Belching Blessing. (touted as a sign of spiritual infilling and satiation). The walking on water blessing (which made baptisms very difficult), was followed by the renewing of soles blessing (Yes, I meant “soles” as in “shoes”) – sometimes referred to as the “Cobbler's blessing”, which I suppose just about sums things up nowadays.
In the end the whole thing had to be called off. The local hospital had to put aside beds for a spate of broken limbs caused by the rigors of action songs, workouts and the effects of people being leaned on by heavy shepherds. Some people had to undergo counseling for post traumatic stress syndrome and some ran off into the wild blue yonder never to be seen again.
Clearly, acting as passive blessing fodder during a service is bad for your health. Much better to go back to those Biblical long tedious sermons that, provided you're on the ground floor, are far more healthy: At least you can come out at the end fully refreshed, after a really good nap.