Tag Archives: still small voice

Christ in you (Epiphany 2, Year B, 18 January 2015)

Readings
1 Samuel 3.1–10
1 Corinthians 6.12–20
John 1.43–51

I want ask a question today, a simple question: where do we need to be to listen to God? (Short answer: In the house of God.)

We are commissioning Katie today for her role  as coordinator of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s Project in Mwandi, Zambia.

I think I can safely say that she hasn’t determined to go there so much by screwing up her eyes and trying hard to believe she can do it as by listening for that ‘still, small voice’, which speaks so calmly, gently, tenderly, persistently, and insistently. That Voice that just doesn’t give up.

But where do we hear that voice? We need to be in the house of God to hear it.

We talked about the voice of God last week. According to Mark, Jesus hears God say,

You are my Son, the Beloved. With you I am well pleased.

We talked about how we miss out on hearing that Voice, because—

Our own inner voices, perhaps accusing voices, drown it out. The sounds of politicians and advertisements and newspaper publishers drown it out.

We need to be in the house of God to hear it. We miss it because we are not ‘in’ when it calls.

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Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A, 15 May 2011)

The risen life: the Shepherd’s voice

Readings
Psalm 23
John 10.1-10

If you look at the titles of the sermons since Easter Day on the home page, you’ll see there’s a theme. It’s ‘The Risen Life’. We’ve had ‘The Risen Life: forgiving sins’ and ‘The Risen Life: walking in hope’. Today is ‘The Risen Life: The Shepherd’s voice’.

It’s clear that we can draw a ‘Risen Life’ theme from stories about resurrection appearances like Doubting Thomas or The Road to Emmaus.

It’s not so obvious today though: today’s Gospel Reading is taken from John 10. Surely that’s well before the resurrection of Jesus? Why do we read this passage during Eastertide?

I wonder if you’ve noticed something when you read the Gospels? The Jesus of John’s Gospel doesn’t sound much like the Jesus of Matthew, Mark and Luke. His ‘voice’ is quite different. He talks in long discourses rather than in pithy parables.

Let’s say it clearly, let’s hear it clearly: the voice of Jesus in John’s Gospel is very often the voice of the risen Lord Jesus. It’s what people have heard who have listened to the Spirit of Jesus speaking to the Church. The ‘historical Jesus’ didn’t necessarily say the words that John puts into Jesus’ mouth; but we can believe that the Risen Lord did say them, through his Spirit, to those who knew his voice.

So when Jesus says ‘I am the gate’, ‘I am the light of the world’, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’, we are hearing the words of the living risen Lord Jesus, now, to his Church.

And when we hear Jesus say, ‘I am the Good Shepherd’, then he is saying that now to us—his sheep. And his sheep hear his voice now—in the original Greek, that word ‘hear’ is in the present tense.

You know, sheep have a bad press. We see them as silly creatures with very little if any sense. We think so little of sheep, I’ve heard sophisticated Christians say they’re offended to be called ‘sheep’.

We don’t need to be that sophisticated. We can and should accept that we are sheep—though I must say their stupidity has been exaggerated.

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