Saturday, April 2, 2011
What we Hear
Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. John 8:47-59
We can hear the ocean from our bedroom and the lighthouse is our constant friend at night. We can hear all sorts of birdsongs in the morning; the geese and the ducks organize regular choruses. Leaving a busy part of the world to come here, really changes how one listens, and make one keenly aware of neighbors and surroundings. There are so few vehicles this time of year that it is not uncommon for us to stop talking and to see who is passing by. Where we are, and who we listen to can really change. It is easy to ignore many things in a busy world. It is hard to ignore the heartbeat of God in such a sanctuary.
The theological argument continues, and Jesus suggested to the religious leaders that they are not of God or they would understand what he was saying and who he was. Their minds were busy with their own importance, the own arguments – they had no time to listen to God. The words of Jesus infuriated them and they tried to kill him. No trial, nor witnesses, just an angry mob with blood lust. Obviously Jesus had struck a chord of honest awareness. They knew they were too proud to need /God despite their roles of those who lead the flock. They were angry theologians, angry lay leaders and religious challenged by the true presence of /God in their lives. God, who was offering them real relationship stirred them to violence by exposing their egos and their pride in self.
Today, I ask God to help me to be humble and to listen to the presence of God and to the heartbeat of the living God. May compassion overcome pride, and made forgiveness and humility replace my self confidence and arrogance. May I listen with new ears today to where God is calling, no matter how the busy world feels about my call. May we all listen to God and not the sweet words of a fickle world.