If sermons are as much a blend of the human and the divine as any other religious activity then why are sermons so fetishised? This what I find so fascinating.
There are several reasons why sermons became normative, but at this stage I think it's primarily about the cohesion of the religious community. They connect us to our heritage (IOW they're 'appropriate' in a traditional sense) and they help to reinforce our sense of belonging to a religious group.
Sermons do sometimes 'connect us to God', as in Baptist Trainfan's quotation, but many other things also serve this purpose. And of course, that has nothing to do with whether or not a sermon is 'appropriate', which is a cultural judgement.
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