Two men, Tim and Tom, were talking after the worship service at their congregation one Sunday.  Said Tim, “I’ve been coming to this church almost every Sunday for 25 years.  I’ve heard lots of sermons in that time, but I can’t say that I really remember any of them.  Do you think I should just stop coming to worship?”

Replied Tom, “I’ve been married to my wife, Jane, for 25 years.  She has served me a lot of meals in that time, but I can’t say that I really remember any of them.  Do you think I should stop eating Jane’s cooking?”

The answer to both Tim and Tom is, “Of course not!”  Just as Jane’s cooking has nurtured and nourished Tom’s body over the course of time (so much so that he has put on a few pounds), so Tim’s pastor’s sermons have nurtured and nourished Tim’s soul.  If Tom stops eating, he will eventually die.  If Tim stops listening to the Word of God read and applied to his life, his relationship with God will begin to die.

Not every pastor is especially good at crafting a sermon week after week that that helps listeners experience the presence and power of God, and even the best of preachers fails sometimes to connect with his or her listeners.  But, unless we continually hear the message of God’s great love for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus, that message gets lost in all of the other stuff that comes at us from day to day.  

Paul told the early Christians in Rome, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  Take advantage of every opportunity you can to hear the Word of God read and applied to your life!  Your faith will be stronger for it!

Submitted by Mark Vance

Interim Pastor

New Hope Lutheran Church,

Foresthill, California

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