• Jon Forrest

Sleeping in Church

The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

Sleeping in Church

There was a church that loved fellowship times so much it had developed a tradition of hanging around and drinking coffee after church services on Sunday. One day the pastor and a one of the boys of the church were visiting during this time when the pastor wanted to make a point about fellowship with the boy.

He asked the boy, “Do you know why our church family serves coffee after church on Sundays?”

The boy replied, “I always figured that it was to wake people up before they drive home.”

Moral of the story, “Never ask a question for which you aren’t prepared to hear the answer.”

When I was a young part time youth minister during my latter years of Bible college, the excellent pastor I served with was Bill Vandervoort. One day, Bill was talking about the issue of falling asleep in church during the sermon. Bill said, “The problem, Jon, with falling asleep in church is a weakness of the flesh. When you find yourself beginning to dose off during the sermon just reach up into your nostril and yank out a hair. That will wake you right up.”

I’m not certain about Bill’s solution, but Jesus would appreciate Bill’s idea of falling asleep during the sermon being a weakness of the flesh. In the 14th chapter of Mark, Jesus was in his most trying moments of ministry and in need of serious prayer. He had taken his most trusted disciples with him to “watch and pray so they would not fall into temptation” while he prayed. All three times Jesus went to pray, when he returned, he found them all sound asleep. In frustration he said, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38

That last sentence fits in with many of our struggles. We struggle with our bad habits. We battle with temptation and sin. We keep fumbling our Christian responsibilities all because

the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

This Sunday we will look at the second message in our series, “Death March” (events leading to the cross) with a sermon that addresses this issue titled “The Battle Within” based on Mark 14:32-42. We will also take a look at Paul’s battle featured in the 7th chapter of Romans. Plan to come and share in this powerful addressing of one of our greatest struggles.

Struggling with you,


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