Have you ever been with someone in a time of silence and heard them say what you were thinking? Or sing the song that had been going through your head? Or you say or sing what they were thinking or singing to themselves? When this happens to me, two factors are usually present: It’s someone whom I know well, and there aren’t distractions present.


Last Sunday (1/14) all three readings included the element of hearing God’s voice. In one reading God’s voice was unfamiliar to the one being addressed, in another God’s voice had been sought for many years, and in the third God’s voice had been largely ignored.


This Sunday (1/21) the readings each contain a call to change direction and be re-oriented toward God. By the time you read this, you may have already heard the sermon that I have yet to prepare. But here’s what I’m thinking about today.


Whether we have been longing to hear God or thinking we want God to leave us alone, we are most likely to hear God when we are familiar with God’s voice and when we are not distracted. One way to accomplish both of those things is to begin our day by reading the Bible. I don’t mean devotions or faith-inspired writing, although those can be quite good. But there’s no substitute for hearing God’s word directly.


If this is already a practice for you, consider this as support and encouragement. If this is not yet or not recently a practice, here’s a simple way to start: Read for 5 minutes a day. Or a chapter a day. Pick any of the gospels to start; we’re in the year of Mark right now. Or start with Matthew because it’s the first in order. Or start with John because it has the strongest claims about Jesus. Or start with Luke because you like the Christmas story. But start somewhere.


I do better with this being among the first things I do each morning than saving it for later. But you may find otherwise. And when you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. The benefit is in the time with God, not in completing a task. And see if you start hearing God at other times of the day than when you’re reading. May you be the best of friends!


Grace and Peace,

Pastor Don Wink



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