Are We Listening?
Just prior to the transfiguration, Jesus had announced that he would be killed. His disciples’ response was disbelief. Peter even rebuked Jesus for saying such a thing! Their visions of their destiny with Jesus still included power and glory.
If we aren’t careful, we will be likewise guilty. We give our attention to the light and dazzle, the presence of Moses and Elijah, and the bright cloud when we read this story. While getting lost in these startling images, we could miss the key part of the vision: God says, “This is my Son…listen to him!”
Listen to him when he says he will suffer and die for the will of God. Listen to him when he says those who would be his followers must also lose their lives for his sake. His call is to sacrifice for God’s love and justice. Are we listening?
–Dr. Mitzi Minor
- How would you rate yourself as a listener to Christ?
- How would you rate the Church as a listener to Christ?
- Many Christians read their favorite scripture verses over and over, rarely venturing into troubling passages to “listen” to them. Are you one of those? How might you change your attitude toward reading and listening to the Bible?
- Are those who read only their favorite passages guilty of not listening to the whole word of God? Why or why not?
How Do I Act?
- Write your understanding of being a disciple of Christ. Ask a friend to do the same and share with one another. Then see if you can find biblical references for your ideas. Does your understanding of discipleship come mainly from scripture or from somewhere else? To whom have you been listening?
- Do a Bible study on discipleship. Are there aspects of discipleship in scripture that weren’t included in your understanding of discipleship (see #1)? Will you listen to these texts?
- Many poor Christians in Latin America charge that we North American Christians aren’t listening to the whole Bible, that we ignore passages about justice that they find most hopeful. Read a book such as Christopher Rowland’s Liberating Exegesis or Robert M. Brown’s Unexpected News: Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes. Might they have a point?
- The ancient practice of lectio divina is a meditative, reflective reading of scripture to gain inspiration in living the Christian life. It is different from regular prayer in that it begins in scripture instead of out of the heart of the one praying. By praying the scriptures, Christians are moved out of potentially self-centered praying to see with the eyes of Christ, and insert themselves into the struggles of the people of God. Commit yourselves this month to practicing lectio divina. See what difference this practice has made.