Do you think you know what’s best? I think I do. Right?

We want to take action, get to work and make it happen. Someone’s having a medical procedure; we’ll take them a meal. Another is looking for a new job; we’ll give advice on the best resume techniques. That one has left their home looking for safety; we think they need to try harder to make it work. This one is being bullied; we instruct them to stand up for themselves. Hurricane coming; evacuate. Flood zone; don’t live there. We stand at the ready knowing what’s best.

And yet Jesus offers another way. In Luke 10:38-42, Martha is certain she knows the best way to treat a guest and her sister Mary does not. But Jesus suggests that doing is secondary to hearing. Hearing and listening for the Good News that we are loved beyond anything we do. We are loved for who we are – children of the living God.

Listening is much more difficult than busy work. Listening is sitting. Nothing much gets accomplished by sitting and listening. But perhaps it’s what the world needs most right now.

Let’s pray:

If there is anything we need to learn,

it’s to listen, God;

In the midst of so many words

telling us who ‘we’ are and who ‘they’ are,

and what ‘the real problem’ is,

directing and misdirecting us,

recruiting us

and selling all manner of things to us,

we can start to believe you’ve gone silent.

But, if we can still the noise around us and within us,

take the time to sit at your feet,

and embrace the humility required to hear,

we will discover that you whisper still,

within us, and through our neighbors,

in cries of need, and the silence of grief,

and then, once we have heard your word,

we will know how to live the truth

you have so gently spoken.


Grace be with you,


Prayer by John van de Laar

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