How often have we yearned to hear God’s voice? The Israelites desired such instruction. Yet, Moses reminds the people of the time God spoke and the divine was made manifest in their midst. Their response: “If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.” God proposes a mediator: a prophet like Moses.
During my hospital chaplaincy, I visited a patient who was experiencing spiritual distress. When I skimmed the chart, I learned the patient was deaf and preferred sign language but could read lips. With no interpreter available, I planned to use my basic signing skills to open a line of communication. I walked into the room confident that I could communicate with the patient. It did not go as I had expected; I could not understand the patient.
Time after time, God’s people fell away from God’s instruction, so God established a line of prophets like Moses who could continually bring God’s word to the people. Unlike my situation with the patient in the hospital, God always finds a way to communicate with us.
God speaks, exhausting every measure to tell us of God’s love and care. As the Bible unfolds, we begin to realize that this is a love story on an infinite scale between God and God’s people. Are we listening and responding to God’s voice?
God, I know you speak, but sometimes I find it difficult to hear what you are saying. May I listen with more than my ears so I may respond by following you with all that I am. Amen.
This week’s readings center on God’s authority. In Deuteronomy God promises to raise up a prophet to guide the people, and God warns the people not to listen to voices that do not speak for God. The psalmist overflows with praise for God’s great works. God is powerful and awesome, yet gracious and merciful also. Paul instructs the Corinthians to place the rights of others before their own rights. A person’s conscience may allow him or her to exercise freedom in Christ; however, with this freedom comes responsibility. We must surrender our own rights, if necessary, for the good of others. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus shows his power over the forces of darkness: even the unclean spirits recognize and obey him.
• Read Deuteronomy 18:15-20. To whom or to what setting do you turn when you yearn to hear God’s voice?
• Read Psalm 111. How willing are to you to immerse yourself in life? in your worship setting? What causes you to simply dip your toe in? What would help you make a fuller commitment?
• Read 1 Corinthians 8:1-13. When have you been conscious of another’s limitation in some area and intentionally chosen to avoid a certain behavior?
• Read Mark 1:21-28. Jesus calls James and John from their fishing nets. He takes them as they are exactly where they are. Where have you sensed a call from God? How did that call change your vocation or avocation?
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