The Power of Hearing
“The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?” - Psalm 27:1
Dear Friends, The difference between the silently read word and the spoken word is downright startling. When you and I were learning to read, the first step was that someone - a parent, grandparent, older sibling or teacher would read to us aloud. Then we would begin tackling small, moving on to bigger words, sounding them out and then speaking them with confidence. And then eventually we would get to a level of mastering reading… where we could read in our head and never utter anything aloud. We could read in the classroom or on a bus, surrounded by people and be silently in another world. Reading is a skill, developed over time. Some of us can read a mile a minute (my neighbor’s mother supposedly read a book a day for her entire life) and some of us take our time, trying to milk every nuance from each word. But just the other day, I was reminded that there’s something important that we usually lose along the way in our reading. There really is a powerful element to the spoken word. The power of hearing those words, uttered aloud, whether they’re from our own lips or the lips of someone else, is palpable. It’s one of the reasons why we listen to and read together, the scripture in worship on Sunday. On Monday night, the Session gathered for our special January meeting, where we examine the incoming elders and deacons and invite them to share why they answered the call to serve. They share what they love about our church and what they’d love to see improve in the coming years. It’s one of the highlights of the meetings for me! But later on, during our study time, we also invited the Session to reflect on the ways that they have seen God at work in their lives, in this community and in our church in the past few months. It was amazing! To hear these leaders speak about the great things that God has done - many of which I was completely unaware of - was so encouraging. But if we never heard them, spoken aloud… we never would have known. We certainly could have listed them on a piece of paper, but the power was really in the hearing. I truly want you to be encouraged and strengthened in your faith and in this life. I want you to draw closer to God and to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit with you. And so I encourage you, the next time you’re picking up the scriptures to read - whether it’s a single verse, a chapter, or a whole lot more - read it aloud, so that your ears hear God’s word to you. In fact, go ahead right now and read Psalm 27 - I believe you’ll hear the goodness of the LORD, right now, in your reading. Welcoming YOU to Grow in Jesus, Pastor Don
Psalm 27 (NIV) The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations.
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.