How do I understand sermons better… I sometimes get lost and then I don’t understand the whole thing.

What a fun question! I’m so happy to hear that this is even a thought of yours! I understand what you mean by getting lost sometimes. First, a sermon does not need to be heard from beginning to end, like a story. Sermons will make your mind wander and get you to think about things a bit. If it does that, that’s ok. Sometimes our minds wander because we allow it to think about frivolous things, like what we’re going to eat after church gets out. Then I would say to simply focus more 🙂

Particularly as a Lutheran, there are some things to listen for in a typical sermon. The Law will perk up your ear because it’s those moments in the sermon where you feel convicted, hopeless, like something’s wrong. It’ll get your mind to think about those things you’ve done wrong or failed to do, the heartaches of this world like the injustice done to others and the abuse and oppression throughout the world, ways people and events have made you feel negatively, etc. Then there’s the Gospel. The Gospel will perk up your ear because it’s those moments in the sermon where you feel uplifted, freed, hopeful, helpful, joyous, content, all because of what God has done for us through Christ Jesus. It’ll get your mind to think about the good in this world, the good in your life, what you are capable of and ideas of what you could do to show gratitude for what God has done and what you could do through church or with your family, how you could serve others.

If you don’t hear the whole sermon, that happens. Sermons make the mind wander because the content affects us at the core of who we are. At the very least, try to listen for the Good News of what Jesus has done for you. This will encourage you for the week ahead. It is always good to hear that God loves us because He has chosen to do so. I’m glad you asked this question.