March 2: Soulful Songs and Spiritual Wisdom


Lenten Devotion: Soulful Songs and Spiritual Wisdom

Friday, March 2, 2018

Soulful Songs and Spiritual Wisdom
1 Corinthians 1:18-25

The words listen and listening take me to a couple of places before I even take another breath –  a song from the 1960s:  “Listen children, to a story that was written long ago…” (the chorus still rings true), and the opening words of St. Benedict’s Rule for Life:  “Listen carefully my child…”

Soulful Songs and Spiritual Wisdom – I need both this Lenten Season.

I’ll admit that for me it’s hard to listen these days. My mind is so full of judgment and shouts and tears from the 24/7 news feed. It seems hard to begin listening.  But I must.  We must.  For in the listening we become more mindful.

When we are mindful, we listen more fully. In either case – in both cases – those actions – choices we make, invite us to see the wide horizon of God’s realm of life.  And therein lies any hope I have this Lenten Season.

Hearing and listening.  We hear throughout the day – the sounds of life all around us wherever we are.  The sounds are so numerous that we are unaware of many.  But listening takes a deliberate decision – it means that I am choosing to be with you and to slow down my life to take in yours.  It’s not always an easy thing to do.

But every time I do, I am amazed at what happens inside me, and what happens between me and the one I am listening to.  There’s a realization that we are all on a journey, that none of us is complete, that we are all becoming.  I like verse 18 in today’s reading; “…but to us who are being saved…”  This life with God is ongoing; it’s not a one-and-done deal. We are all in a state of “being” – being saved, being transformed, being loved, being aware of God’s life within, being made ready for what is yet to be…

When I choose to listen, I am a better version of me, the me who longs to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. The me God breathed life into at my birth and spread a wide horizon before.

This Lenten Season may each of us stand before the wide horizon, and hear sounds we may have been missing. Those sounds may be the ones that lead us toward mindfulness and deeper listening – aware of how much the world needs listening ears…

Rev. Dr. Deana J. Reed
SFTS Director of Field Education
SFTS MDiv 1987; DMin 2003