Listen

Submitted by Mike Butler

 

Theme: Listening to God
Object: None needed.
Scripture: Matthew 13:1-17

 

I would like everyone, including the kids, here to holler or shout about something. I want you to keep going until I wave at you. If you don't know what to shout, then read the bible or a hymn and shout it real loud. If there is someone on the sidewalk, I want them to hear your noise.

When the people start shouting, start talking with the kids and tell them a story. Use Jesus telling about the farmer planting seeds on the rocks, in the weeds, and in fertile soil; maybe 10 seconds long.

Wave at the people to quiet down.

To the kids; what was my story about? Kids respond. But I was saying it loud. Why couldn't you hear me? Kids respond. (Everyone was making so much noise.)

It was kind of noisy in here wasn't it? It was hard to hear anything. Sometimes listening to God can be the same way.

You're wondering what I mean by noise making it hard to hear God. Well, it is.

There are a lot of things that make it hard to listen to God.

There are people who tell us that God isn't real.
There are people that tell us we don't ever need to go to church.
There are people that tell us we are wrong in the way we worship God.
There are TV shows that show kids who believe in God being pushed around.
There are TV shows that show us being tough and strong is better than living like God wants us to.

Sometimes we hear things and don't understand them. Then we ignore them and go and play.

The story I told you this morning was something just like that. You didn't hear me because of all the noise. Let me tell you the story again now that everyone is quiet.

Jesus told a story about a farmer who plants his seeds. Some of the seeds fall on hard soil, some in the weeds, and some in good dirt. The farmer won't get any crop from the seeds in the hard soil. The farmer will only get a little where the weeds are. But where the good dirt is, the seeds will grow big and strong.

Jesus' disciples were like we were a few minutes ago. You didn't understand what I was saying and neither did the disciples. For them it wasn't a lot of noise but they just didn't understand what Jesus was saying. They had to ask Jesus what he was talking about and then Jesus told them all about what he was trying to say to them before. Then they understood.

We need to listen to God. We know that God does exist. We know we are going to a good church. We know we are worshiping God in a way that pleases God. We know that living like God wants us to is the best way to live. And we know that when we don't understand something we are supposed to ask questions so we understand.

Prayer. Dear God. We live in a noisy world. Help us to always listen for you. Remind us to ask questions when we don't understand what you want. Amen