• Steven Marsh

Words: a Reflection on Psalm 14, Isaiah 45:5-17, Ephesians 5:15-33, and Mark 4:21-34

I’ve been participating with a group of Jesus followers this month reading Bonhoeffer’s Life Together.

What a joy. I have been learning from Bonhoeffer and my colleagues.

So much of community life hinges on communication…speaking, listening, and words. Here are some of my posts in the Facebook dialogues…

“God fully gives God’s ear to us. When we only give one of our ears to the “other,” because we are preoccupied with our other ear to our own stuff, we’re not listening.”

“When I tame my tongue, I spend less time worrying about others…judging others…making others in my image. When my tongue is moderated, life is less about me and more about others. And that is the insight I continue to gain in my growth as a follower of Jesus.”

“Communities disintegrate often when voices speak poorly about others behind their backs. Dissension can be a means to the end of an amazing community experience. Bonhoeffer lifts this up. For dissension to be that means the community will need to rebuke gossip and backbiting and yearn for authenticity and transparency.”

And so our texts today demand listening and little if any speaking. The words are profound.

“No God, corrupt, any who are wise, astray, no knowledge, I am the Lord, no one besides me, will you retrain me, be careful how you live, be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ, and pay attention to what you hear.”

Relationships matter. Words instruct, nurture, and can damage. Let us tune our ears to God and one another. The kingdom is near.

Scripture readings are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.

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