Thursday of the third week of Lent
The readings for the day can be found here.
In today’s scripture texts, I notice a theme related to listening… and obeying.
In Jeremiah’s time, the people have not listened to nor obeyed the Lord’s commands. God seems worn out with instructing them. He says they will be known as the nation that did not obey the Lord.
In the Psalm, especially verses 7-8, the author recognizes that God loves and shepherds the people, anticipating that they will recognize his voice and will follow him. The congregation is warned not to be like their ancestors, in the time of Moses, who hardened their hearts and did not trust God to provide for their needs or to lead them into safety.
In the Gospel, after Jesus had cast out demons, he was questioned about his authority to cast them out. Was Jesus listening to and empowered by Beelzebub? Jesus’ answer challenged them to recognize the kingdom of God at work among them.
Who are you listening to??
To the world & its challenges? To American society & her desires? To friends, family? To the testimony of one changed saved by God? To God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit? To God’s word in scripture, prophet, priest?
What keeps you from listening to God?
Academics? Dorm life? Greek life? Athletics? Juggling a busy schedule? Family? Family responsibilities? Music? TV? Video games?
What is the result of listening to God?
Repentance? Obedience? Running the other way? A life of justice and mercy?
When I was an undergrad, Amy Grant sang it this way:
Who to listen to ?! — Amy Grant, Unguarded album, 1985
written by Gary Chapman, Tim Marsh, & Mark Wright
Don’t take a ride from a stranger,
No way to know where they go.
You may be left on a long dark road,
Lost and alone.
Don’t you recall what your Mama told?
You’ve got to learn hot from cold.
When you’re afraid that you might get burned,
Where do you turn?
You’ve got to know who to, (who to) Who not to listen to.
You’ve gotta know who to, (ooooh….) Who not to listen to.
Well, you know, they’re gonna hit you from all sides,
Better make up your mind
Who to, who not to listen to.
How can you learn what is true and just?
How to know who to trust?
Here comes a man with a scam to sell.
How can you tell?
You’ve gotta know there’s a bigger plan,
Room to fall, room to stand.
Pray for the plan to begin in you;
Keep your heart true.
Everyone will have their words to say….
Find the word to help you find your way.
Yes, sometimes we feel hit on all sides by a cacophony of voices. We each have the opportunity to choose who to listen to, who to base our life decisions on.
Listen to Jesus…
Be and do what God has created to you to be and do.
The Rev. Leslie Limbaugh is the Campus Ministry Affiliate at Third Baptist Church, where she is an associate pastor. Along with collegiate ministry, she helps with community ministries, global missions, worship, and logistics. Her interests include interfaith awareness, mariachi music, Tarheel basketball, and Cardinal baseball.