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NOT TALKING TO ME...OR IS HE?


So often those of us who have been coming to church and have been Christians for a long time sit and listen to sermons as if the preacher is talking to everyone else in the auditorium except us.

We sit there during the sermon and take in what the preacher is saying, but often times, while we hear the preacher's words, we don't hear the message. Sometimes I think we listen to sermons like this:


Shattered window ¨ Imagine back to when you were a little kid and you found yourself in a situation where someone in your group of friends got into trouble, but you had to stand there and listen to the lecture from the teacher or the parent, too. For example, many of you probably grew up playing backyard baseball with your neighborhood friends. Imagine that you are back in your childhood playing a game of baseball one summer afternoon, and you're sitting in the dugout when one of your friends steps us to the plate and hits a long ball deep to left field. The ball sails over a fence, and the next thing you hear is the crash of a shattering window. In no time at all the owner of the house comes rushing out to you and your friends and begins to lecture you about breaking his window.


Now while normally you wouldn't like being lectured to, this time you don't really mind so much, because in the back of your head you know that it wasn't your fault. Your hands weren't the ones holding the bat when it knocked a ball through the neighbor's window. So while this man whose window is destroyed may be getting on to you all telling you to be more careful, he's not talking to you specifically. His lecture is meant for the one that was directly responsible for the broken window, not for you. You don't mind this enduring this lecture so much because you know in your mind that it's directed toward someone else and not to you. After all, your friend does need to be more careful not to hit the ball through someone's window!

Or maybe you don't mind standing there and listening to the lecture because the man is just getting on to all of your group of friends, and not anyone in particular. "After all," you think, "we're just kids. We break stuff all the time. People are always reminding us to 'be more careful.'" So since the man isn't singling anyone out, everyone can hide behind the idea that "I'm not in trouble; all of us are in trouble." It's a lot easier to get in trouble if you have friends that get in trouble with you.



But did you ever stop to consider that maybe the point of the man's lecture was that you and your friends should not have been playing baseball close to his house in the first place? In reality, while only one kid directly broke the window, all of you were at fault because all of you were playing baseball. It could just as easily have been you that hit the ball through the window.


All too often it is the same situation with us when we hear a message from God's word. The preacher or Bible class teacher makes a powerful point about sin and temptations in the lives of Christians, and we sit there wondering, "I wonder who he's preaching to in here this morning?" Or we may just leave the worship service that morning having only heard the words and not really having listened.

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