listening, part 5, the close

21 Jul

Essential Point 1: just as God the Father loves listening to Jesus’ voice, so will we love Him by listening through the scriptures. By ‘through the scriptures’ I mean: reading them; delighting in and meditating on/with them; (Psalm 1:2) and acting on them with justice, love and mercy. (Micah 6:8) This is one of the reasons we used three different translations of John 17 in these listening exercises- to wash ourselves; to listen to His word, His love.

Through listening, Jesus’ and the Father’s words are melted together in our hearts when we sit, or stand; lie down or kneel. The listening melts and melds us. This is Jesus prayer for us and how He prayed for us: (Young’s Translation) ‘sanctify them in Thy truth, Thy word is Truth.’ John 17:17 Sanctification here is washing in the word.

The Spirit melts His word as we listen in our hearts. As we close these exercises, consider John 17:12. Here, Jesus asks His Father to ‘to guard them (us) as they (we) pursue this life that you conferred as a gift through me’(The Message)

Essential Point 2: Listening to Jesus, the Spirit & the Father is part of the gift conferred. Why? Listening has a softening effect; good listening melts our hearts. Listening transforms, making us more like, Jesus, like the Father and like the Spirit. We remain uniquely ourselves, yet we are transformed, renewed.

When we go to the Lord’s table, let us go to Him knowing He hears; he loves; He acts. He listens. All this is an ‘indescribable gift.’ 2 Corinthians 9:15. This is what we need to remember to listen to.

personal takeaway: Essential questions (EQs): How can I better listen to Him?

When and where will, can I expect Him to speak to me? How does He speak to me?
Do I have expectations on how He will, can speak? If so, do these expectations help me to listen or do these expectations interfere?
In the near future, what is one change I will enact in my praying, speaking and listening to God and for or with others?

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Closing prayer: a poem, I carry your heart with me (I carry it in
e. e. cummings
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Jesus carries us.

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