Listening to God’s Word
Listen to the word that God has spoken; listen to the One who is close at hand;
listen to the voice that began creation; listen even if you don’t understand.
“Listen to the Word That God Has Spoken” Glory to God, Hymn #455
Every week in worship, after reading Scripture, the leader says, “This is the Word of the Lord.” The congregation responds, “Thanks be to God.” The Word is foundational to who we are as Christians. It shapes our worship. It shapes our understanding of God, of our community, of ourselves, and of our interactions with the world. When we allow the Word to soak into our hearts, it shapes who we are as humans created in the image of God. So, my question today is this: How do you allow yourself to listen?
I say “allow” to point to our free will in listening, the ways in which we choose to listen to God’s Word, and when we listen. We may choose to open our ears, our eyes, and our hearts or we may close ourselves off from listening, especially when we don’t understand or when we are feeling the nagging of sin upon our souls.
This short song from our hymnal speaks so much about our role as listeners to the Word. It is meant to be sung as a round so that the word “listen” is emphasized. This song speaks of the way God reaches out to us through the Word recorded in our Bible. It speaks to the nearness of God, always, even when we don’t detect it. It speaks to the power, creativity, and infinite nature of God from before all time. It reminds us that we listen before we understand. For how could any one of us understand the volumes of God’s Word for the world?
I have added some hand motions to share this song with children, but I suspect they will help us all reflect on listening to the word God has spoken:
Listen (hand to ear) to the word that God has spoken (with fingers together, move hand away from mouth);
Listen (hand to ear) to the One who is close at hand (hands overlapping with palms up);
Listen (hand to ear) to the voice that began creation (hands make a circle top to bottom like the earth);
Listen (hand to ear) even if you don’t understand (hand on heart).
This week, I encourage you to pay attention to the ways you listen.
It is a joy to be one of your pastors.