Our verse for today comes from Acts 13:42, “As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath.”
I imagine that the sentiments expressed in today’s verse would be a dream come true for every pastor to hear. Not to imply that those preaching on Sundays are doing it for the sheer sake of wanting to be heard, but rather it speaks to the joy of knowing that the message they delivered made its way all the way into the souls of the listeners. You and I both know that it’s no easy task for a sermon to get that far. There are simply too many barriers and roadblocks along the way to highjack the intent of the message. Some are going to be about a subject that has nothing to do with where our minds and hearts are currently. Others lasted too long and exceeded our willingness or ability to stay tuned in. Some came on the heels of a previous distraction that rendered the preacher’s words all but gibberish. And the list goes on and on. Additionally, there are multiple ways that people receive and process information, and each of us generally does that best in one particular way. Unfortunately, sitting and listening, being auditory learners, is in the minority. More of us need to see something or interact with something directly for it to catch hold. And then there is the fact that even when something that’s said finds a spot past the layers of distraction and disengagement, we will forget practically all of what we heard within a very short time of hearing it.
But, despite this description of the apparent futility of sermons and biblical teaching, the truth is that God’s word needs to be proclaimed, and we need to hear it, and for a couple of reasons. First, we don’t need to remember something for it to shape and transform us. You can recall almost nothing your parents actually told you, but you are a product of their years of raising and influencing. You can’t quote two sentences from any sermon you’ve ever heard, even yesterday’s, but God has bent your heart to desire Him. He can get His point across without you remembering the precise wordage He used. And second, you remember more than you realize. Time spent listening to and reading God’s word penetrates and massages your heart, when your focus is given to it, and it is there doing its work. So, don’t let an off Sunday or dry worship service go to waste. God may not have entertained, but He still deserves your worship and attention.
As we seek Him today, try to remember the things you have heard and read from God. And more importantly, try to do them.