I’ve been that person who has fallen in love with the Word of God. I’ve studied and read, and read and studied the Bible in numerous versions: from the KJV to The Message. The Word of God empowers! It transforms! It brings clarity!
I’ve also been that person who has fallen in love with the power of a well delivered sermon. I have been a fan of the best of the mega-church Bishops and Pastors with a gift (or expertise) in delivering a word. These people, like Bishop Noel Jones, Pastor Paula White, Prophetess Juanita Bynum and Bishop T.D. Jakes to name a very few, are the ones I’ve allowed to move me, as well as many others who are not well known, because they have that ability. We always love the best of the best in everything, don’t we?
These people are very good at plucking the heartstrings of the people. We file into the church every Sunday faithfully to have those strings plucked, and we expect them to be plucked good. The Preacher doesn’t disappoint: at the beginning of the sermon, he starts slow and low, and rises steadily to the crescendo, not unlike a good opera, or a good concerto. We eagerly ride the wave to get amped, and we love it. I’ve gotten amped, and have loved it. Except I didn’t call it getting amped, but being touched by the Spirit moving in the place.
As I come back weekly for my fix from my favorites, the mundane happens and I start to peep their basic technique. Oh, she always says that at this point in her sermon; oh he always uses that phrase at the midpoint of his sermon; oh she always starts her sermons that way, no matter the subject. And whatever other tricks of the particular preacher’s trade. I become somewhat jaded when I start detecting these normal speech giving things. Immature of me, but nevertheless.
As I allow myself to thing about it, it begins to hit home that I was probably too into “The Delivery” of the sermon. I won’t say that I didn’t hear and receive the words of truth of that sermon, but the delivery was a huge part of the package for me. Now I see the regularness of the preacher, and that he’s using a formula, like all speech makers. Now I’m slightly disappointed, let down, or something. I then realize that I wanted my Word delivered via a performance. Is it my fault?
When I was a young girl, I was a fan of The Jackson Five. I loved them – Mama’s Pearl, ABC, The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage, Little Bitty Pretty One! Loved all of those songs, and they touched my tiny little 10 year old heart. But at the time, what I could NOT understand was why so many girls would swoon and faint and all the rest of it, just at the sight of the Jackson Five. Even at the age 10, I thought it was silly and strange.
Fast forward to now. I’m listening to the sermon being preached and am desiring to be made to swoon? And I feel a particular way when I don’t swoon? I got some issues right there. The problem is I’m expecting more from the preacher than I should expect, which takes away from the Word. There’s an imbalance.
Something’s not right, and my spirit knows it. So when my spirit is imbalanced, I must tune out the voices of others, and sit quietly with myself. I pray and get myself back in tune, however long it takes. I seek out the simple wisdom of the ages. I pick up my Bible and start reading for myself once again. I take that time away from the chatter of life. It works for me.
- The Cardinal Requisites of the Sermon (Preach the Word, Part 1) (southernreformation.wordpress.com)
- How NOT to Listen to a Sermon (jimmyroh.wordpress.com)
- Sermon interrupted . . . (blithespirit.wordpress.com)
- Luis Palau – Two sermons in Scotland at historic St. Peter’s Free Church of Scotland (rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com)