Part of the work of the church is to teach us to listen in a world that only wants to speak.
Jesus had a different kind of list, and it sounded rather odd, requiring practice, particularly out there where life happens.
If we spend the rest of our lives in that conversation, it will change who we are.
It is a prayer we have all felt whether we scream it from the top of our lungs because we cannot hold it in any longer or whether we whisper it under our breath because we are completely out of strength.
At times, Paul spoke like he was hanging from the rafters – where theology takes us sometimes – high above our everyday concerns where we wrestle with deep questions about the nature of God; but at other times, Paul got right down to the heart of everything – where we live our everyday lives –…
Why did the psalmist sit down to write this prayer that still resonates with us today?
Jesus did not care much about those kinds of secrets. There was no secret handshake between the disciples.
The grace of God does not always add up, so it will surprise us; but it will surprise us in the best possible ways.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith … (Hebrews 12:1-2a, NRSV)
Stories like these capture our attention because they broaden our vision. They remind us there is a broader way to live.