Occasionally I get comments about whether or not the morning sermon was “meaty” or not. This is sometimes meant to criticize the lack of depth to the message, or the over-abundance of my ever present bad jokes. Sometimes the comment is meant as a compliment. But to be honest, I think the concept of “meat” or “milk” in a sermon is a bit misunderstood. The concept comes from the writer of the Hebrews, who says, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
The concept of whether a message is “meaty” or not seems to depend more on the one listening than the one speaking. No, that doesn’t excuse a sloppy job of sermon preparation. The “meat” of a message is something that will be received by those who are of “full age”, or mature. What determines whether or not you are “mature”? Maturity isn’t about winning the latest round of Bible Trivia. Maturity is determined by a life that has been “exercised” in the telling right from wrong – and doing what is right. With physical exercise, I’m learning that the more you do it, the greater your abilities grow. I can walk further than I was able to last year because I am learning to walk every day. Learning to make the right choices in life works the same way. The more I practice and make the right choices, the greater my capacity is for doing good. And that’s when I find myself eating “meat”. Make mine top sirloin!