December 3, 2020

Prayer:Holy God, speak to all that keeps me from listening.
Speak to me an Advent message. I sit expectant to hear.
Word of God, speak.  Amen.  

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 35:8-10
A highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
but it shall be for God’s people;
no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.
No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The story is told about a six year old girl, after listening restlessly to a long sermon, at least long for a six year old, the girl asked her father what the preacher did the rest of the week.  “Oh, she’s a very busy woman,” the father replied.  “She takes care of church business, visits the sick, teach the bible study, serves the needy…and then she has to have time to prepare for worship.  Talking in public isn’t an easy job, you know. The girl thought about that, then said, “Well, listening isn’t so easy either.” Out of the mouths of babes.
Listening is not so easy and there are explainable reasons. We like to talk a lot and judge others.  We have our own preconceptions and biases. Many of us multitask which actually restricts listening. I’m sure there are numerous other factors but with a limited word count hopefully the point is made. Listening isn’t so easy.
And yet… as we continue to make our way into this Advent season the invitation is to listen, to be open and receptive to experiencing moments with the Living Word. The last words in verse 9 say “the redeemed shall walk there.”  On my thinking chair, I wonder how I cultivate hope in my life. I wonder how I can live in anticipation of what God is going to do next.

Reflection Questions:
What restricts your listening?
How are you preparing to experience a moment with the Living Word?
How do you cultivate hope?

To view previous readings click HERE