Last week “Listening and Engaging to come to a right interpretation” was our topic. This week’s is so much the same that it is apparent that knowing God voice is paramount. Let us deal with Conversation and the company of others we talk to every day – friends, family, co-workers.
“Did your fish have bones?” “No.” “Mine did.” “Are you going to the symphony tonight?” “No.”
I’m in the library writing just after dinner & those are the highlights of the 'conversation' we had with two acquaintances. Usually dinner conversation is interesting with shared viewpoints or with serious give and take on topics about which it is difficult to agree. The latter can engender a long time of discussion full of facts, observations and telling stories to illustrate reasons for differences. Many times we are surprised to find the wait staff hovering hoping we will finish so they can cleanup and go home. These can truly be called conversations and enrich our lives and force us to be flexible and grow. Anything less is merely a chat, some gossip or a meaningless bit of talk.
This walk we are taking together this week is concerned with not merely A conversation but with THE conservation – ours with the God who created us.
Our scriptures set up a series of scenes for us to view, as it were, or perhaps to eavesdrop on three parts of this conversation. Isaiah 1:1-2.5 has a declaration of the origin of the first part, “The Lord has spoken.” This reference to the initiation of discussion between God and God’s people surely includes all the various oral commandments, covenants, calls and communications the Lord God had originated with people on earth.
Romans 15:1-13 reminds the descendants of these earlier generations that these conversations continued in written form in scripture and in the spoken words and life of Jesus Christ. These forms of communication were to help maintain hope and fortitude so all would continue to praise God and follow the example of Jesus who was faithful and reminded them of God’s promises and commissioned them to continue the GREAT conversation with all humans.
Matthew 9:10-17 gives us a snapshot view of Jesus giving an example of THE conversation as he answers the questioning disciples.
When there is a question especially about faith, God, the meaning of a scriptures, in other words, how to live there is seldom a single ‘right’ answer. How, especially with a non-believer or someone with whom you really disagree, do you attempt to engage and come to the essential truth? Can you listen and learn? Can you discover why you disagree or agree about some idea? Could you try to imagine this kind of conversation not as a trivial thing and see it as a continuation of Isaiah 1 (knowing what the Lord has spoken).?
What does it mean to you to be part of THE greatest conversation in the world? What have the voices – of God, Christ, Holy Scripture, human companions- taught you?
Consider what has happened to your understanding of God through poetry you read or hear – through those who interpret God through oral and written storytelling.