Weird Things Christians Do: Listen To Sermons

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s not much of a secret that I have a short attention span. I’m easily distracted. It doesn’t take much for me to momentarily lose my place and… hey look at that bird! He’s funny looking!

… sorry about that.

I’m sure I’m not alone in our fast-paced world. Generally speaking, we like things to happen immediately, if not sooner. We get frustrated if the traffic lights take too long to turn green. We prefer headlines over long news articles. If a movie is longer than 90 minutes, it better have some big explosions to keep us from fidgeting in our seats.

Which is why I sometimes think it strange that when Christians meet together, they sit down and listen to someone talk for a solid length of time. With attention spans (allegedly) getting shorter, why do we all gather in a room on a Sunday and listen to a sermon together?

It’s because the Bible is so important to us. It’s not just some book. The Bible is God speaking directly to his people. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God has given us the Bible so that we can know who he is and what he has done for us. The Bible shows us how we can live lives that bring honour and glory to him. When someone gets up the front of church on a Sunday and opens up the Bible with us, that’s God, through the Holy Spirit, talking to us. It’s a time for us to pay attention to what’s being said. And we do it, because hearing God speak to us is one of the great privileges of being a Christian, a privilege that we should guard jealously.

That’s why we have a sermon every week at St Luke’s. We’re not going to replace that time with quiet meditation  discussion groups, or interpretive dance. No, that time is set aside for a clear proclamation of what God has to say in the Bible. And if I can (only just) sit through a movie, then surely I can put the same amount of effort into listening to my God speak to me.

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About Joel A Moroney

Associate Minister at St Luke's Anglican Church, Liverpool (in the Sydney Diocese). A very strange man, but he usually has Pez, so that makes it okay.
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