What Are You Hearing?

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

Psalm 72 (Morning)
Psalm 119:73-96 (Evening)
Neh. 13:4-22
Rev. 12:1-12
Matt. 13:53-58

What Are You Hearing?

As I checked through the different readings for my assignment I wondered what it meant that I needed a reading that applied to me. I couldn’t go ahead and write about just any reading. I think the problem in this reading is about my weaknesses. I am always too put off by what I surmise are other people’s criticisms.

If I were to write about the Ukraine, for instance, I would need to be told that I should start calling it “Ukraine” without the definite article. And I would be silenced. If I would ask “How many lines shall I make in this stanza” someone might tell me I need to make one line move nearer to another and I would feel I should have known that myself. I am easily overpowered and people are strong about what they do not know or do know. Jesus so astonished his village with his knowledge and spiritual insight that they asked, “Where did he learn this – the son of a carpenter – his mother a woman named Mary – and does he not have brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And sisters? How can he know so much?” With all that, Jesus did not do any more teaching there. They could not hear him.

But in another reading, from Nehemiah, we learn that Nehemiah saw he needed to push through the mumbling of the people because in Judah they were not honoring the Sabbath. So he commanded that the doors be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. Men of Tyre who lived in the city had brought in fish and all kinds of wares and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah and in Jerusalem. And when the people murmured, as they did in the book of Matthew and as they are wont to do, Nehemiah persevered because he knew, from God, that he should.

Written by Rebecca Newth Harrison

Rebecca Newth Harrison is a poet and attends St. Paul’s as well as sings in the choir. She says poetry is all memory and empathy.

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