Do you remember what your pastor preached about last week? How about last month? Or, to get really crazy, what about last YEAR?
With the exception of last week, most of us probably don’t recall a specific sermon. This is not a bad thing or a reflection on the quality of the sermons. In fact, we’ve likely heard sermons in the past year that have challenged us, motivated us, and encouraged us. And yet, we don’t remember the details. Why is that?
Simply put, our minds cannot hold that much data. Unless something really stands out, we cannot remember the specifics. According to this article on human memory in the Los Angeles Times, “novelty is the primary, if not the primal, trigger of learning. What we learn, what stays in memory, are novel bits of information about our universe…”.
In other words, we remember things that are highly unusual or things that shift our understanding of the world around us. Knowing a bit more about how our minds work, perhaps a better question to ask is: What is the most novel sermon you’ve ever heard?
Is there a sermon that completely opened your eyes to see things in a new way? Or, was there a sermon that spoke deeply into a struggle you have faced most of your life and helped you move forward? Or is there a sermon that was just so good you could listen to it every single week and still learn from it?
If so, I’d love to hear about it. Thanks for sharing in the comments below!