What WERE the sounds of Holy Week?
The cacophony of the crowds, cheering , praising, screaming; ‘crucify him’ weeping, betraying, ‘give to us, Barabbas’
This is against the silence of abandonment; crushing, humiliating,
And then there were words of individual people..not me Jesus, I will never leave you or betray you. (Judas and Peter)
At the Passover. the disciples hearing Jesus say ;’this is my body, this is my blood, broken for you, shed for you.’
Simone of Cyrene hears the Roman order; carry this man’s cross;
Pilates wife…listen me; this man Jesus, he has done nothing wrong.
Mary and John hearing Jesus words on the cross and his last words overturned yet again, Jewish culture as He entrusted them to each other to love, care, protect, become each others family.
As we read the Bible, we most often find Jesus teaching, speaking but he was also a great listener.
Jesus models for us how to love by listening.
Often asking people what they would like him to do for then
Not just by trying to resolve their pain, not just by giving them the solution to their problems, but just letting them know that he cared by listening.
To listen is important to every healthy relationship.
And I often think of the challenge and charge of Jesus, one of his most famous phrases, something that he said time and time again:
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear”Mark 4:9
God gave us two ears but only one mouth (!)
And so, I wonder if he’s suggesting that we should listen twice as much as we speak, because in another place he said,
“Consider carefully how you listen”Luke 8:18
In his letter, James emphasized this saying,
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…”James 1:19
And so, giving someone our undivided attention and listening can be a powerful way of loving someone.
This is what Jesus modelled for us and there may be people in our lives right now, for whom the most effective way you could love them is to simply ask them an open-ended question and listen.
For now, we are all listening at the moment, hearing about Covid 19, sometimes conflicting advice.
In the most we are doing what we are being told to do, we are taking heed.
We are hearing of the wonderful stories of love and community and care and compassion and we take so much heart from that.
We will hear more words, statements, challenges and inspiration in the next few weeks.
God’s desire I am sure is that we listen, take heed and take heart from all he is doing in the centre of this viral world we are now living in….which we KNOW will end.
Today Lord, we remember that (Maundy) Thursday,
where you became a servant, washing feet,
where you rooted us in bread and wine, in body and blood,
and gave us our Communion Service.
In the night , before you were betrayed, arrested and tried,
you prayed as we now pray…
Father , we do not want to live in this time, take away this toxic cup from us and give us strength to do your will..
And we claim those last words that said; and the angels ministered to Him.
Let it be for us too,