I read recently that the word for ‘listening’ in Latin is ‘obedire’ and the Latin word ‘audire’ means ‘listening with great attention’.
This is where the word ‘obedience’ originates from. To be obedient is to listen. Jesus listened to the Father in the midst of suffering and he learned experimentally and practically.
‘Even though Jesus was God's Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.’ (Hebrews 5:8)
Jesus suffered the taunting and temptation of the demonic and the abhorrence and adulation of human hearts. It is comforting to us that in embracing suffering, Christ was not disqualified from sonship. It follows that as adopted children and co-heirs with Christ we must not expect to be exempt from suffering because of our ‘sonship’. Neither should we conclude that we aren’t ‘dearly loved children’ on account of our suffering. Our suffering if we choose to learn obedience from it becomes a deeply transformational and ultimately liberating experience (Rom 5).
The Latin word for not listening, being deaf, is ‘surdus’. If you are absolutely not listening, that is where the word ‘absurd’ comes from. So it might be interesting to note that someone who is not listening is living an absurd life……
Having discovered riches in Christ, a life without God seems absurd…similarly the Church and Christian life can look absurd when the people of God go about their lives without listening with great attention.
I believe the body of Christ in the Western world must learn to embrace our sufferings. To own and recognise that suffering isn’t ‘out there’ and that it is part of every human experience. Maybe only in suffering we will learn to listen with great attention. Through suffering the deafening sound of media, technology and false comforts can become background noise and new lessons can be learnt. I am convinced there are some things that can only be heard and learnt through suffering.
• In 2013 how do you intend to listen with great attention?
• What stops you from listening?
• Where do you go for comfort and is it transformative?
• What suffering do you need to embrace and discover God in?
• What would the universities look like if the Christian students listened with great attention?
Listen up! Christ is here and he’s coming and he is speaking life into you, your context and the student world.
Have a God filled 2013