Lent and the Prophet’s Call to Listen

Listen to me, listen to me, listen to me!

Surely this is one of the most common phrases parents use with their children. Often we say it out loud to younger children but when they are older we tend to just say it to ourselves.

They are also the words from the prophet Isaiah in the 51st chapter. I think those are God’s words for us as we prepare for Lent and the journey with Jesus to Jerusalem.

 

Isaiah says:

Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,

you that seek the LORD.

Look to the rock from which you were hewn,

and to the quarry from which you were dug…

 

Listen to me, my people,

and give heed to me, my nation;

for a teaching will go out from me,

and my justice for a light to the peoples…

Listen to me, you who know righteousness,

you people who have my teaching in your hearts;

do not fear the reproach of others,

and do not be dismayed when they revile you.

I think what we listen for and how we listen makes a difference in what we hear – or don’t hear

How did God’s people listen to, and hear, and understand that his justice is a light to all nations?

How did God’s people listen to, and hear, and understand his message that his salvation is for all nations, for all people, from coast to coast and from land to land?

How did they understand God’s justice for all people?

I don’t think they understood very well – maybe that is one reason he brought Jesus into the world.

Listen to me, listen to me, listen to me – Jesus will explain my justice and show you the way to salvation.

 

Jesus shows us that Righteousness means right living — that what I do, how I spend my time and my resources, what I say, how I act are intimately connected with God because Jesus is found in me and I am found in him.

This year during Lent I will once again try to give up some things that tempt me, especially desserts and sweets. I think I will also try to listen, listen, listen, to really listen to God speaking to me and hear his teaching in my heart.

Dave Purcell

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