Skip to main content

Listening to Jesus

In recent years, two scenes from the Gospels keep grabbing my attention: Jesus' baptism and Jesus' transfiguration. In both instances God the Father speaks to Jesus or about Jesus (it may be the only time we hear God the Father speaking directly about Jesus). In both cases, God proclaims (and claims) Jesus as God's very own, "Beloved" Son. God the Father further announces that he is "well pleased" with Jesus. On the second occasion - the Transfiguration - God goes on to command us (the disciples) to "Listen to him."

Listen to Jesus.

It seems like such a fundamental and important part of what it means to be a Christian. The very idea of us being Christians is that we are taking our cues and directions from Jesus - that he is both our Lord and our Teacher. And, yet, I have noticed within myself that I don't really do this that often. Yes, even pastors struggle with this. It is much easier to be swayed by the many other voices that we encounter on a daily basis - to listen and be directed by what we hear from our boss, or the news, even our well meaning friends and family. Yet, despite all of this, God's command is that we "listen to him."

This has prompted me in recent weeks to go back to one of the places where Jesus speaks most clearly and most directly to us as his disciples. I am speaking of the Sermon on the Mount. Surprisingly, in all of my years of being Jesus' disciple, this is really the first time I've listened to what Jesus said in that sermon.

I am deeply loving sitting at Jesus' feet, but - at the same time - truly listening to him has challenged me to go deeper and to become - once again - Jesus' disciple.



Popular posts from this blog

Acts 5:1-11 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This past Sunday we looked at one of the more unsettling stories in the Book of Acts:  the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  As shared by Luke, this couple sold a piece of land and then proceeded to bring only a portion of the profit to the apostles - laying it at their feet for the good of the community.  However, what appeared to be their grave mistake (pun intended) was their collusion in claiming to have brought all the proceeds to the apostles when - in fact - they were keeping some back for themselves.  Peter announces first to Ananias the Lord's judgment, followed by a similar verdict being handed down to Sapphira a short time later.

Seen by itself, this is a strange story, but it begins to make more sense when we see it as "part of the whole."  The story of Ananias and Sapphira comes right after we hear once again of the community's unity and generosity, including their willingness to share their own goods and resources to take care of one another (ch. 4).  Th…

Acts 6:1-6 - Questions for reflection & prayer

As the Holy Spirit empowers the Christian community, new life emerges and new members are added.  This is a beautiful thing, and it is extremely important to point out that this is God's doing.  God is initiating diversity within the Christian community.  However, this also creates new tensions and new challenges.

Acts 6:1-6 gives us our first glimpse of a tension that will extend all the way to chapter 15, until the leaders of the early Church come up with a way to address the growing differences within the Christian family.  Some feel that they are being left out and that others are getting preferential treatment.  The Hellenized Christians feel they are getting the short end of the stick.

All of this is extremely relevant to thoughts and feelings occurring in our own day and age.  Across the spectrum, a majority of Americans feel like they face some form of discrimination.  But, it also points to an ongoing challenge we all face from time to time, the challenges that arise when…

Life in Greencastle: That Greatest Architect

God's peace to all of you on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.  I hope you are enjoying the warm sunshine.  Perhaps you are even still enjoying one last sunset at the beach.
We stayed fairly close to home this Spring Break, taking two short trips, including one to Turkey Run State Park and the other to Columbus, Indiana.  Anna and I had been longing to go to Columbus for quite some time.  Back in the day, we became friends with Emily and Manish Desai in our small apartment complex in Pasadena, both of whom had recently graduated with degrees in architecture from Cal Poly.  Manish would go on to earn his license in architecture and has designed a number of really beautiful spaces, including private residences but also a church out in the desert for a Native American tribe.  Anna and I have always appreciated Manish and Emily's aesthetic, which is why we knew to take note when they started telling us about Columbus, Indaina a number of years ago.  They didn't know much abo…