Listen To The Sermon

Dec 20, 2015
by Joel Jongkind

Romans 10:17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (NKJV)

In many churches, the traditional ways of worship have changed. The order of service is not as rigid as it used to be. Some ministers interact with the congregation, and some people even reply. There was a time when we did not laugh in church. It was just not done. Going to church was serious business. Music has changed a lot, as well. The tradition of the organ leading the congregation in the singing of hymns has in many cases changed to a piano or a praise team leading the singing of contemporary music.

The book about the history of the Presbyterians in Meaford tells us that there were a lot of potluck suppers and other social gatherings in those early days. Due to the busyness of people in other activities now, that has changed as well.

But the one thing that is still the centrepiece of Christian worship is the sermon. Preachers spend a lot of time preparing their weekly homily. They do a lot of research and study to present the teachings of the Bible, and they quite often use life experiences to make a theological point.

Not long ago, I saw a television interview with a young woman who had been going to church off and on her whole life, and yet, she felt that there was something missing. She talked about it and prayed about it. She said that she went to church, sang the hymns, stayed for the time of fellowship after the service, and took part in certain church-related activities, but she felt empty. Then one Sunday during the service, it dawned on her that she had not been listening to the sermon. She heard the words, but she did not really listen.

From that day on, she made it a point to listen, not just with her ears and her mind, but also with her heart. Then, she came to believe the teachings of Jesus and the words of the Bible. The life lessons as presented by the minister became an important guide in her daily activities.

Jesus Himself said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" (Luke 11:28 NKJV)

During the Christmas season, many people who do not usually come to church will hear the Christmas story, perhaps for the first time. Many others have heard it before, but didn't grasp its significance. We need to pray that it will be presented in such a way that they will hear, understand, and believe. For those of us who are entirely familiar with the story, we need to pray that we will hear something new that will speak to our hearts.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for those who bring the message of Christ to so many people in different countries and in different languages. Enable them to present it in a way that is easy to understand. May those who hear it truly listen and believe. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Joel.


    An important reminder Joel. Merry Christmas.


    Thanks Joel for this reminder to be attentive in church. Blessings.


    Joel: Very forthright content to this day’s Devotional. I cannot add to it. I listened and heard and agreed. Thank you.


    Thanks for a fresh perspective on present-day worship services. May we always seek new ways to worship as one body (following Jesus’ example) while bringing others into the circle!


    Dear Joel,
    Thanks again for a devotion from you.
    Keep writing.


    Excellent thoughts. I sat in church for many years and listened to well constructed sermons, but boring and dead. Then the Holy Spirit sent the fire and burned up the dead wood. My ears were opened and I became instantly alive in Him. Praise the Lord.


    Hello Joel.
    Because of your words, I pray with you in spirit, that by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, the ears of many will be opened to the gospel of their salvation. And as I read, this verse came to me which Jesus spoke. Luke 9:44 Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. KJV. The Lamb of our God was born to die. It was not normal by any means, but had it not been so, we would be most miserable, dead in sin, having no hope! I wish you well, with all that you gather with.
    (USA)


    Thanks for your words of wisdom, in today’s Daily reading.
    I will sing out that others may hear it in our songs, and take it home in their hearts.


    Amen! After 40 years of ministry I have sometimes wondered if there was anything else to say during Christmas eve meditations on the story. But through prayer, God always brought forth fresh perspectives, deeper understanding, new applications. How amazing is our God. The richness of scripture means we can go again and again and draw water from the well. Blessings for your worship and remembering this Christmas!

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