Waynedale United Methodist Church
Friday, May 26, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

March 5, 2017 Sermon

“Listen to Him”
Luke 9:28 – 35
Ted Jansen March 5, 2016  Waynedale UMC
 
1.)        Listening takes energy and can feel like a lot of work.  You have to invest energy to focus on a sound and then your brain has to process those sounds into some aspect that is meaningful.
            When you listen to someone speak so many thing are happening that it can be hard at times to process if there is a lot of noise.  If someone is speaking in a different language that you don’t know there is not meaning for you.  You hear noise but no meaning, you tune out and don’t listen. 
 
2.)        When you are physically tired it is hard to listen because your energy is draining from you.  That was the case with Jim, a man in Kokomo, who worked the midnight shift at Chrysler.  He would often come to worship after he had finished his shift on Sunday morning.  Jim sang in the choir which was located right behind me in the sanctuary at Shiloh UMC. 
On a typical Sunday morning after the choir would sing there was Jim, a big man, who sang to God’s glory with his booming bass voice with his choir robe on sitting behind me.  What do you think Jim often did while I was preaching my heart out?   
            Yes, he was sleeping!  People would be looking at me and see Jim behind me in the choir area fast asleep.  Jim could not listen because he was tired.  I was glad he was there but obviously was a distraction.  I think eventually he joined his wife in the pews and he would either fall asleep or his wife would keep jabbing him!     
 
3.)        Peter, James and John take a hike up a mountain with Jesus. What a great view they had.  While they are on top of the mountain, according to Luke 9:28 – 35, three things occurred. First, they saw Jesus’ face change, then his clothes became really bright, then Moses and Elijah appeared talking with Jesus.  This is incredible, amazing, unbelievable. 
            Then listen to Luke 9:32.  “Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.” 
            The disciples fell asleep.  For some reason, maybe they were up all night, perhaps they had exerted energy in hiking up the mountain, perhaps they were overwhelmed.  At some point they were tired.  When you are tired you cannot listen…    
            Then a cloud surrounded all of them as a voice speaks, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen, listen to him.” (Luke 9:35)  Listen to him.  That is the theme of Lent.  Listen to Him. 
           
4.)        We, like the disciples, who had fallen asleep in the midst of the glory of God, can fall asleep, or not have the ability to listen to God fully.    
            We are a people who hear noise, lots of noise around us, but what we listen to are things that might not be important.  We might not understand the language of those around us and the messages they are giving.  Or we might not want to listen.      
            Have you ever spent your time and energy “listening” to what is not important?  If so you might have said to yourself, “I just wasted my time listening to that.”
            I hope and pray that each time I preach that I have something of value for your life.     
 
5.)        I want you to write down all the sources of information that you have “listened to” in the past 24 – 48 hours.  What have you allowed to come into your ears and your eyes?  What have you listened to, what have you been watching, what have you been reading?  Who are the people that have been a part of your life in the last 2 days?  Can you think of the conversations?  What did you talk about?  What did you view on your phone, computer?  What music or voices did you allow in your life?  I want you to come up with a list of all those sources that you have received in your spirit.   (Take time to write these down and then invite people to share them.)    
            Now, I want you to circle the top three as far as importance in your life.  I want you to decide how important these three sources are to your soul.  How is your soul based on what you have “listened” to?  How has your life, your faith, your health, your job, your attitude been affected?  This first step will be vital as we seek to Listen to Him. 
 
6.)        When we drive a car we are safest when we are concentrating on the sights and sounds related to driving.  When you add another voice of a person in the car they can potentially distract you.  More voices of people add more potential.  What about music, can it distract?  Yes, you can lose focus when you have lots of noise and information going into your brain while you are driving.    
            How many of you when you are in traffic, or construction, or tense driving conditions will turn down or off the radio or ask others to be quiet so you can concentrate?  Why is that?  It is because we need energy to focus on our driving.  We need to shut out the noise to be able to see and hear what is most vital.    
 
7.)        If you would add a phone to your driving what does this do to your potential to be distracted?  Can you drive and talk at the same time?  Yes, you can, but when we are talking and listening your energy is being used in addition to the primary task of driving.  Our brain is processing many things that way and the potential is increased that you will be distracted.  If you add texting to your driving this can distract your vision from the road. 
            If you are driving with the radio on, other passengers talking to you as you are texting this what can this potentially cause?   An accident.  Why?  Because you are trying to listen to too much and you can’t focus on the most important. 
 
8.)        Can you “operate” your soul while doing lots of other tasks and having lots of inputs and voices coming to you?  I don’t think so.  You will be distracted and might be headed for an accident involving your soul. 
            You are invited to use your time to “Listen” to the Son, the one whom God has chosen, the one that is most important.  Someone is being distracted and headed toward an accident because you are not listening to the Lord.  It is time to listen to Him.  Use our prayer guide each day.    
 
9.)        In a few moments I am going to read the Communion Prayer with pauses so that we can listen.  I hope this helps us take into our soul the love of Jesus.       
            What do you need to do to be able to “listen” more to Him?  Which of the voices that you listed do you need to turn off?    
 
10.)      I like what Luke 9:36 tells us about what happened after this mountain top experience for Peter, James and John.  Here are some phrases from different translations that describe what they did.  “And they kept it close,” (KJV), “they kept quiet,” (CEV), “said nothing,” (NCV), “kept silent,” (NAS).  
            These words indicate that they were listening.  They “kept it close, they were quiet, the said nothing, they were silent.” 
 
            I am going to invite us to one minute of silence to prepare us to hear His voice in the prayer for Communion.  It is time to stop listening to me and Listen to Him.