I had a chance earlier today to reiterate the sermon I delivered at St Clement’s about three weeks ago, on faith at work. Speaking without notes I did stumble when I tried to remember my third point although fortunately it came back as I followed up with the three related sets of Bible passages that went with the talk (Gn 2-3 and Eph 2:10 / Ps 127:1-3 / Acts 18:1-4 if you are taking notes).
It was a bit of a gaffe but I felt the moment had been redeemed when, lo, during the ensuing prayer time, I hit upon titles for the three sections of my material that met the golden standard of all starting with the same letter:
- Do it well
- Do it at all?
- Do take a rest
Yea, verily, even the same verb! It is an overused pattern but one of the reasons that “three points beginning with the same letter” has become such a commonplace among preachers is that it functions as a simple mnemonic so not to be scorned because it functions as both as a way of remembering what to say and as a way for the listeners to remember what was said.