Sermons are, at their best, excursions into difficulty that are addressed to people who come there in order to hear that. The attention of the congregation is a major part of the attention that the pastor gives to his or her utterance. It’s very exceptional. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good sermon. People who are completely nonreligious know a good sermon when they hear one.
Interview with Marilynne Robinson, PBS Religion & Ethics, March 18, 2005