• Jim Farrell

Do You Hear What I Heard?

To whom and/or to what are you listening these days? It seems there is no shortage of words, written information and opinions about any and everything, bombarding us these days via a variety of mediums. I’m utilizing one such medium that you are reading right now—one that anyone can utilize anytime, about anything, anywhere. We are blitzed with words and information about one thing or another to the point of being suffocated. How do you listen, process, and respond?

I was prompted to think about this a few weeks ago upon hearing a seasonal song: “Do You Hear What I Hear?” According to one source, this song was written in 1962 as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Its lyrics are said to be loosely based on the account of the Nativity of Jesus according to the Gospel of Matthew. The 4th stanza stirred my contemplation.

Said the king to the people everywhere

Listen to what I say

Pray for peace people everywhere

Listen to what I say

The child, the child

Sleeping in the night

He will bring us goodness and light

He will bring us goodness and light

What I was prompted to think about is how much (or how little) are we listening to the King? King, not in the sense of a human authority, or an earthly system or philosophy, but listening to Creator God? Particularly, how much do you listen to the Child who the King said will bring us goodness and light? There is only one who ultimately brings goodness and light! He was announced to shepherds outside of Bethlehem. The bringer of goodness and light is the Savior Jesus born for you in the city of David, who is Messiah, the Lord (Luke 2:11).

A way to evaluate listening is to ask how much (or how little) goodness and light we experience and share. If our listening stirs us more toward irritation or bitterness, animosity or hostility, frustration or division, then we are probably not heeding the directive of the King of the Universe to listen to the Child—the Savior Jesus, who came to be good news of great joy for ALL the people—to bring us goodness and light.

This Christmas, in the name of the Savior Jesus, be discerning as regards to whom and to what you listen. Regardless of the form by which words and information is conveyed, Creator God the King would have you and me listen to His Word—Jesus, the Child, the Bringer of goodness and light. Listen to and evaluate the world’s words through the King’s Word, and you will know less fear and hate, and more hope and love. Speak words according to the King’s Word, and you will speak less harshly and with more grace and truth. Process the words of the world’s pundits through the goodness and light of the Savior Jesus who has come, and you will be less inclined to confusion and despair, and more animated to understanding and life. Commit by faith to follow the Lord and King of the Universe, and the outcome of your words and deeds will promote goodness and light. Rejoice that God’s Spirit enables listening to the King’s Word!

Do you hear what I heard? The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us… (Titus 3:4) Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness (James 1:19-20). This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him! (Luke 9:35).

Merry Christmas!

…and the journey continues. Pastor Jim

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