Lectionary resources for worship, faith formation, and service
The reason we have the messages of the prophets is because they listened when God spoke to them. Thus says the Lord. Pay attention! Listening.
Paying attention. It seems so basic, but a life of prayer, loving God, seeking justice –it all begins with our willingness to listen. Of course, listening is risky. If we hear God speak, we may need to do something about what we hear.
Listening to Isaiah means paying attention to the devastation of our world’s brokenness and the part we play in that pain. It also means being open to the profound wonder of God’s vision for a new creation. Can we really dare to imagine a world where wolves and lambs graze together, and where no one is harmed on God’s holy mountain?
In a TED talk, sound expert Julian Treasure promotes listening as the foundation of a better world: “A conscious listening world – a world of connection, a world of understanding, a world of peace.” He offers five ways to practice listening better. In the church we can learn from his articulate weaving of a grand vision with concrete practices.
In the busyness of our lives we need worship, time set aside for paying attention to God.
Knowing that the Holy speaks in many ways, and we all hear in many ways, how can we make the most of this sanctuary time to listen deeply together? A time of silence or contemplative music? An introduction to scripture that reminds us to listen to the words with our whole being? Testimonies of people sharing visions they have glimpsed of God’s new creation?
Jesus healed a deaf man by putting his fingers into the man’s ears and saying “Ephphatha…be opened.” (Mark 7:32-35) And his ears were opened. Holy one, may we be opened.