Tag Archives: listen

Speaking on Behalf of…

One of the great debates of a corporate Twitter account, or anything speaking representing a group of people, is

Who speaks on our behalf?

Who is the one person charged with saying what that group wants to say?  Who decides what press releases are given, or what an opinion is on a matter?  Whose thoughts are we really getting?

Hebrews 1:1-4

1 Long ago in many ways and at many times God’s prophets spoke his message to our ancestors. But now at last, God sent his Son to bring his message to us. God created the universe by his Son, and everything will someday belong to the Son. God’s Son has all the brightness of God’s own glory and is like him in every way. By his own mighty word, he holds the universe together.

After the Son had washed away our sins, he sat down at the right side of the glorious God in heaven. He had become much greater than the angels, and the name he was given is far greater than any of theirs.

God had been speaking through prophets.  But that message wasn’t getting through.  People weren’t getting it.

Perhaps they thought that the message the prophets were bringing was their own opinion, maybe they weren’t sure of motives, or couldn’t see past personalities?

So what does God do?  He sends his son.  Surely people will believe a family member, and will get the message.  Jesus is speaking as God himself, and not just talking, but living it out as well, it is a fully rounded message.

We can trust what Jesus says, what he has to show us and teach us.  It is “on message”, what God longs for us to hear and understand?

Will we hear it?  And will we take it as gospel?

Lord,

I long to hear your voice.

Help me to recognise it

in the crowd of voices;

help me to recognise your truth

– and to act on it

Being Wise

What do we consider to be wisdom?  Saving for a rainy day?  Learning the lessons of a previous generation?  Looking both ways before we cross the road?

There are many ways to be wise – and many ways to ignore wisdom and think we know better.

Proverbs 1:20-33

Wisdom Speaks

20 Wisdom shouts in the streets

    wherever crowds gather.
21 She shouts in the marketplaces
and near the city gates
as she says to the people,
22 “How much longer
will you enjoy
being stupid fools?
Won’t you ever stop sneering
and laughing at knowledge?
23     Listen as I correct you
and tell you what I think.
24 You completely ignored me
and refused to listen;
25 you rejected my advice
and paid no attention
when I warned you.

26 “So when you are struck
by some terrible disaster,
27 or when trouble and distress
surround you like a whirlwind,
I will laugh and make fun.
28 You will ask for my help,
but I won’t listen;
you will search,
but you won’t find me.
29 No, you would not learn,
and you refused
to respect the Lord.
30 You rejected my advice
and paid no attention
when I warned you.

31 “Now you will eat the fruit
of what you have done,
until you are stuffed full
with your own schemes.
32 Sin and self-satisfaction
bring destruction and death
to stupid fools.
33 But if you listen to me,
you will be safe and secure
without fear of disaster.”

So, do we listen, or sneer and ignore when good advice comes our way?

Wisdom seeks to offer correction – advice for the right way, and so often it goes ignored.  BUT we pay no attention at our peril.

We are reminded that

In the book of Proverbs the word “wisdom” is sometimes used as though wisdom were a supernatural being who was with God at the time of creation.

and I think it is in that context that this passage is best read.

 

How often are we “stuffed-full of our own schemes” instead of listening to God’s?  How often do we plough on, without listening to that still small voice of God?  How often do we rush on ahead, paying no heed to what God is saying and doing to us?

 

How different might life be if we did?

Lord,

you know the best ways,

the right ways

– help me not to run away with my thoughts and ideas,

but to hear yours

– and act on them

Can you Hear me Calling?

One of the things that is difficult to get used to, now that my children are all grown up, is being out in public and remembering that is someone shouts, “mum”, it won’t be me they’re shouting.  We get accustomed to being able to pick out our name from a crowd, and responding.

Samuel, beloved and longed for child, is living in the Temple, serving the Lord under the direction of Eli, the Priest.  Eli, is very old and nearly blind and part of Samuel’s role is to care for him.  Eli is asleep in his room, and Samuel is asleep in the Sanctuary.

During the night, Samuel hears his name being called, and assumes it is Eli calling for help.  He rushes to him, but is not Eli calling.  This happens a further twice, before the penny drops with Eli, and he tells Samuel the next time he hears his name being called to respond:

‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’

And that is what happens.  Tantalizingly, the lectionary reading leaves it there.  Samuel inviting God to speak to him.

Infant Samuel by SIr Joshua Reynolds

Samuel invites God to speak to him, with no idea what God might ask of him.  He comes willing, openly, offering himself.

Can we hear God calling to us?  In the noise and the bustle of life?  Can we discern his voice from what we are expecting to hear?

When we hear God’s voice, do we respond?  Or ignore it and carry on with what we were doing, with what we have planned, with what our usual routine?

Are we willing to hear God’s voice where we are.  To stop and let him speak?

Lord,

may I hear your voice,

and listen as you speak.

May I pick your voice out from the crowd,

and hear what you are saying.

May I hear you calling me

from what I’m expecting to hear.

May I discern your voice,

be willing to listen,

and respond freely and wholeheartedly.