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Listen eagerly
by Estee in

This morning I was reading Acts 16 - the story of Paul and Silas going to Macedonia and speaking to a group of women, including Lydia, the woman who was a purple cloth merchant. In the story, it says that Lydia sat "listening eagerly" to what Paul had to say -- presumably the good news that he was sent to proclaim.

As I read through the story, the phrase that struck me was this description of Lydia, how she listened eagerly to what Paul had to say. It makes me wonder how often I eagerly listen -- to anything really. Yes, I do an okay job at just listening, but am I eager to listen, am I engaged, excited, and truly interested?

As I think about Lydia and why her act of listening was "eager" instead of just complacent, I think of the content of Paul's words. They aren't recorded in Acts, but I imagine that Paul spoke of things Lydia had never heard before. He probably told her of a poor Jewish peasant whose care for others was radical and violated every social norm of his culture. Paul probably spoke about Jesus' concern for the "least of these," how he was more focused on reaching out to those who were hurting, who were outcast, who were lost than he was to dogmatically arguing about matters of belief. In short, I imagine that Paul probably said little about what Jesus believed and much about what Jesus did.

And maybe Lydia listened eagerly because it was all so new to her. Paul presented to her a way of understanding her relationship with other people that was vastly different than anything she had ever heard. And she was intrigued -- and she listened.

This just makes me think - how often when we speak of our faith do we focus on the same tired truisms that everyone has heard and that makes little difference in anyone's lives? How often do we tell a new story -- or even tell the old story in a new way? How often to we provoke people to think bigger?


Jason Valendy said...

If we take out the following tired truisms we would have different sermons!

It was/is God's will.

Jesus loves you.

Everything happens for a reason.

Hate the sin love the sinner.

The Bible says (insert one verse here).

John 3:16.

God answers "knee mail"

Prayer is wireless access to God

Don't wait on a hurse to take u to church

Faith goes up the stairs love has built & looks out the window hope has opened

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