As our Lenten sermon series on the body of Christ continues, this Sunday we will reflect on Christ’s ears and what he heard; and on our own ears–what we hear; to whom we listen, and whether we are hearing, and listening when God speaks to us.
In preparing this sermon, I pondered what it must be like to be God. I think of the old saying “From your lips to God’s ears!” Imagine, if you can, all that God hears on a daily basis, minute to minute. Things like:
- Words and songs of praise from worshipers in all nations
- Prayers of desperation from ill and hurting people
- The question—Why? O God, why did ________ happen?
- The laughter and joy of his children
- The sounds of war and violence and the screams of its victims
- Words of contrition from sinners as they confess
- Words of scorn from those who don’t believe
The list is endless, and overwhelming…. At least from my human perspective.
However, the hope of every believer is that God hears and knows and responds to our needs.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears,
and rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17-18
This hope as expressed by the Psalmist has its foundation in the formative story of the people of Israel—when God rescued them from slavery in Egypt and led them to freedom.
7 Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey… Exodus 3:7-9
Imagine the God of the Universe listening to the cries of a bunch of lowly Hebrew slaves, and then—acting! Intervening in history! Working out their salvation and bringing them to freedom!
Imagine, stranger and more wonderful still, God hearing our cries, and coming to be with us in Jesus Christ. Fully god and fully human, Jesus heard, and responded with the great heart of God, to the cries of the people around him for healing, for forgiveness, for release from bondage, for rescue from death. He heard the cries of people walking in darkness and led them—us—to light and life abundant. He hears us still today…
Sunday we will explore what Jesus heard, and what we, as his body–his ears–should be listening to and for. I hope you will join us!