Listening and responding

From China's Millions; China Inland Mission; London; January 1892

Preaching outdoors in an Eastern context

After the build-up through Lent, the drama of Holy Week, and the glorious resurrection of Easter Day, the period leading to our Lord’s ascension is often a bit of an anticlimax, mirroring the uncertainty that his first disciples must have felt.

But on the Sundays in May this year our readings from Acts and I Peter are much more positive, because they reflect the passionate declaration of faith of the apostles after their Pentecost experience, and show the transforming power of the preached word.

Karl Dahlfred (who has a church planting ministry in Thailand) points out that sermons have their foundation in the pages of Scripture, and are not merely a Western cultural tradition. He continues: “It is possible to preach a good Biblical sermon and get little response, through no fault of the preacher but through the hardness of the listeners’ hearts and the sovereign decision of God. But when the preaching is Biblical and the Holy Spirit is moving, look out! Peter preached at Pentecost and three thousand people repented in one day. I’d say that that was an effective sermon.”

Let God speak to you as you join in our worship this month.