I recently saw a video where a preacher started his sermon by holding up a non-descript book. He explained that the book was a book of spells. He found it at a bookstore (or somewhere) and had read a few of the entries that he wanted to share with the congregation. (What would your reaction be if your preacher had done this?) The congregation began to stir, unsettled by preacher’s intention. No one wanted to have such blasphemous words uttered in their presence- as if some unseen evil would come upon them. The preacher continued, “You don’t want words, which have no power, uttered because of the evil they may contain. But you come here every week and disregard the Word of God, which has the power to transform your life!” The intended shock value was received.
We attend worship to our God for many reasons; to partake in Holy communion, to praise our God, to edify and educate our brethren, to call on the name of the Creator, to show our thankfulness, and to hear His Words of life. But when we leave- are we better for it? A common refrain we pray is that we may be able to apply the day’s message to our hearts and lives- that we are better Christians because of what the preacher said. Required in that request is that we internalize the message. That we take what is said, search it for truth, and then meditate on it again later. May we be like cows.
Cows- really? Yuppers! Cows. I understand this parallel is a bit gross, but cows eat the same thing several times. Their stomachs have four compartments. First, they consume something new (like the Bread of Life on Sunday morning). Later, they bring it back for another chewing. This happens several times in the digestive process until the nutrients are fully furnished to its body. Take the Word of God in, bring it back up in meditation later. And again. And again.
As we go into the Word of God, may the Word of God go into us! Let its transforming power work in, move, motivate, and change us. May we make our hearts a place where God is invited to establish Himself and be God among us. Chew on His Word!