I thought I had a short attention span when it came to sermons in English, until I started attending a Spanish church.
It's difficult to keep my mind focused on what the pastor says because I don't understand much. (Maybe I need to focus more on trying to understand, but it is easier to flip through my bilingual Bible than try to comprehend a sermon.) A word here, a word there, a prayer, a Scripture reference, etc.
Sometimes all I take home from a message is a sentence or two (or five), but sometimes those sentences are what I need to hear.
One day, I caught that God is always present.
Another day, I caught five main points:
1. We have a personal God
2. We need to know the context of our verses (surrounding verses, chapters, and book)
3. Drugs are bad
4. God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble
5. We are dirty, pretending to look nice & be acceptable
Another day, I learned that the cross speaks of the cost, but the empty tomb speaks of the importance of Jesus. I also learned we should examine why we celebrate the Christmas in the way that we do.
My take-home point from another sermon was this:
God is eternal.
God is a constant presence.
God is Jehovah.
We live by faith.
We believe in the Word of God.
Palm Sunday (there was a PowerPoint to follow along with)
Jesus the Liberator is humble & He came to serve.
He came to give liberty from sin & evil (Romans 7:24)
He came to give liberty to the captives & oppressed (Luke 4:18-19)
He came to teach the truth (John 8:32)
He came to give us life (John 10:10)
He came to give salvation via grace (John 12:46-47)
Do we believe in Him?
Do we trust in Him?
Do we know of Him?
Do we share of Him?
Are we completing our mission?
Another sermon, I learned that we need to plant to harvest fruits of justice.
Yet another sermon was on atonement, grace, and repentance.
1. Christ died for us.
2. We are saved through grace. Salvation is God's idea. (it's prevenient grace)
3. We need to return to God; repentance is the first step
These are snippets of our year in Costa Rica and they serve as a reminder that God can work through any means, even sermons in a second language.