Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A FUNNY PLACE TO FIND EARS CROSSPURPOSES 138

CROSSPURPOSES138

A FUNNY PLACE TO FIND AN EAR!

A few months ago I was driving back from town and mostly thinking about the things we had been discussing at a meeting I had attended that morning. I was driving behind a taxi and vaguely aware of the advertising panel on the boot of the car, which some taxis have fitted. After about ten minutes of driving and pulling up behind this taxi at the traffic lights my attention turned towards the advertisement it was carrying.

The advertisement showed a music stave drawn in a sort of sweeping motion with a treble clef and few notes scattered along its length. It was advertising radio station FM102.5 and had a caption Music for the heart, except that “heart” was written as hEARt.

Very clever, I thought – and very true. Music has that effect on us. We hear it with our ears but it touches our heart. It soothes and consoles; it inspires and stirs. We hear it initially through the ears of our head, but relate and respond to it through the “ear” within our heart.

So it is with the Word of God. When Jesus talks about those who hear but do not listen, He is talking about those who do not take His Word to heart. In the Parable of the Sower the seed – God’s Word – is sown in four different soil types – namely, hearts that receive or respond to the Word in four different ways. The hard heart, the rocky heart, and the thorny heart hear only with the ears of the head and so the heart does not receive the Word. The heart represented by the good soil hears with the “ear” within the heart and it resonates with the message of salvation Jesus wants to sow in every heart.

When Jesus says, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” (Mark 4:23), He is calling us to listen with a discerning spirit, a humble spirit, a receptive spirit, a trusting spirit. He is calling us to listen with the “ear” within our heart, not the ear of our head, which so often listens only to what the “gods” of a sinful self tell it.

Scripture is full of references to the heart that sees; the heart that speaks; the heart that cries out. God has also given us a heart with which to hear. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Through His Word and Holy Spirit, God makes it possible for us to receive His call through the “ear” of our heart.

In Jeremiah 24:7 God tells us, “I will give them a new hEARt to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their hEARt.”

The Word of God is music for the hEARt, indeed!

René van den Tol

16 September 2008

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