March 3: How I Hear, How I Speak


Lenten Devotion: How I Hear, How I Speak

Saturday, March 3, 2018

How I Hear, How I Speak
Psalm 19:1-14

As I listen to this Psalm, I hear a call to awaken to the chorus of the divine singing and speaking all around us and in every moment.  From the firmament throughout all the earth, from day to night, there God is, and there God “says.”

I hear that this text, and the God who infuses its world, is not done with me yet because I was asked to write on this very same passage for the 2016 Advent devotional.  Message heard.

Truth be told, the notion of repeating a lesson resonates a great deal with me right now.  As a straight white male of education, employment, and citizenship, I find myself needing to learn, and learn again, how to listen.  I catch myself, and am caught by a loving community, stumbling around trying to speak a faithful word when where I’m positioned in the order of things so affects how I hear.

This psalm reminds me that how we’ve ordered things falls within a greater sacred order, one which had the first word, will have the last, and is offering us many in the present.  I am being called to listen more, and to try and parse the sources and interests of the voices swirling around and within me.

I am also being called to listen differently.  The Psalmist writes that “Day to day pours forth speech,” but also that “night to night declares knowledge.”  Our culture is more comfortable with day speech, the rational, hard-lined, definitive kind of reality, even if truth seems to have lost its definition.  Night speech, however, belongs to the realm of the mysterious, the creative, the sacred darkness of germination and gestation.  Is it too simple to say that it is only from the night that the morning will next come?

The last call, necessarily so, is to speak having listened.  The psalmist makes clear that God’s speech and song are vital.  They are as gold and honey.  The prayer that closes the psalm does not ultimately demand my silence; it assumes speech, but only speech which flows from a golden honey-soaked heart.

Rev. Rob McClellan
Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Tiburon
SFTS DMin Student