December 13, 2012


Responding to the question, “What is love?” a child responded, “Love is what you hear on Christmas morning when you stop opening presents for a moment and close your eyes and just listen.” Taking the time to stop and listen might seem like an impossible thing to do, especially during the Christmas season. Every day is filled with check-lists and an endless barrage of activities and events to attend. During this holiday season, make it a priority to stop and listen to the wonderful sounds of Christmas: children giggling with an excitement they simply cannot contain, strangers uncharacteristically greeting each other with words full of warmth and optimism, a choir singing, laughter around a dinner table, a bell ringing to remind us “it is better to give than to receive,” and the faint sound of someone sobbing behind a closed door mourning the loss of a loved one. Christmas is full of a multitude of sounds; we must take the time to listen and respond.

December 13 – Luke 2:41-50  The Art of Listening

What would it be like if Jesus sat in on your Bible Study class one Sunday morning? The image of Jesus at the age of twelve, sitting among the teachers (perhaps some of these men were among those responsible for putting him to death), listening to them and asking them questions, seems surreal. Even though he could have taken over and led the discussion, Jesus chose to listen, a skill that too few of us choose to master. All throughout Jesus’ ministry, we see he was an intentional listener, someone who listened with his mind, heart, and ears. This type of listening can be very demanding and draining, but ultimately very rewarding. Jesus took time to listen to his teachers, his parents, his disciples, his followers and, most importantly, his Father. Do you listen intentionally to those around you? Do you listen intentionally to God?


· Ask a friend or family member to go to coffee or to share a meal this week. Make a concerted effort to listen. Ask questions about their life and their feelings and refrain from speaking about yourself when possible.

· Take time to evaluate how you have heard God’s voice in the past. If you don’t feel like you’ve had that experience, look for someone who has (family member, Bible Study member or teacher, etc.) and ask them about their experience. Spend some time in prayer asking God to speak to you in the coming days. Take time each day to sit and listen for his voice.

· For Children: What are some things you “hear” at Christmas that make you think of Jesus?