Listen Up

Listen Up

Grace and peace from the Mystery in whom we live and move and have our being. Listen to God’s beloved Son.

This is my Son, my chosen … Listen to him.

This is my Son, my chosen … Listen to him.

This is my Son, my chosen … LISTEN to him.

Luke 9:28-36

OK, let’s talk about this.

Seriously, what am I supposed to do with a passage which has as its primary message ‘listening?’

What do I do with a passage which, when I open my mouth and speak… I negate its very point?

Should I talk about listening? How we need to listen? Should I share some examples of listening?

Maybe I should give the following examples of active listening I found online:

Examples of Active Listening Techniques

  • Building trust and establishing rapport
  • Demonstrating concern
  • Paraphrasing to show understanding
  • Nonverbal cues which show understanding such as nodding, eye contact, and leaning forward
  • Brief verbal affirmations like “I see,” “I know,” “Sure,” “Thank you,” or “I understand”

You know which word isn’t included in here? LISTENING!!!

How about one of the techniques for listening be, “Shut up and listen.”

So, how should we talk about listening? We shouldn’t.

Talking about something is not the same as doing it.

Look, it’s like this…

Bro. Jim Utters the “L” Word

In my much younger days, I was dating a woman. We had been going out for quite a while and I liked her. And then the relationship starting getting to that point where it was moving beyond ‘like.’ You know that point. The other “L” word starts to enter the picture.

Now, neither of us had said the word yet, but it was definitely in the back of my mind. And I wasn’t sure how she felt… and who wants to go out on a limb and say it first?

But I decided to take the plunge. I planned a dinner at a nice restaurant, and if all went well, I would tell her how I felt.

We went out. It was a beautiful evening. Towards the end of the evening, I reached across the table and grabbed her hand. I looked her in the eye and said:

“I love …

“ … talking about love and what it means. Its implication and practices. I love reading books and poetry about it and listening to songs about it. And I want to enter into an exclusive relationship with you where we can study love, think about love, and talk about love, together.”

We never went out on another date. Apparently, she wanted something from a relationship other than studying what love means and talking about it.

I guess some people are just afraid of commitment.

OK, that didn’t really happen, but you see the absurdity of it. Though some of you who know me wouldn’t put this story past me.

If you want to avoid something, study it

It’s like an old friend of mine once said, “If you want to avoid something, study it.”  Or if you’re like Peter, build a monument to it … or like us, build a religion ABOUT IT. Where we can study, think, and build doctrines and creeds about it. All so we don’t have to listen.

So we are done studying this passage. We are done talking about it. We are done thinking about it.


Listen to God’s Beloved Son

We are going to listen to God’s beloved Son.

I want you to get comfortable. Close your eyes. Clear your mind as much as possible. And I am going to read some sayings of Jesus to you.

And I am going to give a minute of silence between each of them. A minute of silence to listen again to the words of Jesus. A minute of silence to listen to the image of God in which you were created. A minute of silence to listen to the breath of God which gives you life — that which you breathe in with every breath.

A minute of silence … to listen.

[To those of you who are reading this, I encourage you to find someone to read these quotes to you, allowing 60 seconds between each saying. Then, if they are willing, read them back to the other person.]

the words of Jesus

  • You are the Light of the world.
  • The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. The Kingdom of Heaven is in your midst. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers.
  • Take heart. Your sins are forgiven.
  • I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was in prison and you visited me.
  • It is finished.


Wednesday Respite is a 30-min contemplative service of scripture, prayer, music and a Spirited Touchpoint by Spirit in the Desert faith mentor, Rev. “Bro. Jim” Hanson.

Touchpoint is a reflection on where God’s story touches our life story. It is a short homily based on a biblical story of people in the Old and New Testaments and their relationship with God. Our spiritual ancestors’ experience of God’s grace connects with our lives in the present and our relationship with the Divine. Previous Touchpoints are available as PDFs or on SoundCloud.


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