Headlines from First Thoughts

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tuesday, December 12-- Hearing Voices

Before we were born, all we could hear were voices. They were coming from the outside. Can you remember that time, safe in the confines of your mother’s tummy? Did your big brother say, "Hello"? Did your mother sing to you? You probably thought life was so easy then, fed by a cord, nurtured and cared for; but then something happened that you were not planning. After 8 months, the noises grew louder. Things around you changed. Suddenly, a light flashed; you arrived into a new world. You were so stunned by the lights and the temperature; and perhaps what you saw. All of a sudden those voices had eyes, ears, and hands. You were so overwhelmed you just let out the biggest scream of your life. And you realized that YOU had a voice too.

As Eugene Peterson notes in Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, before Jesus was born, the only thing that the world knew about God was through the sound of voices. Think about all the references to God’s voice in the pages of Scripture. Genesis 1 opens with the very word, the voice of God calling out breathing, moving, speaking the world into being. Just a voice. When God intervened in the world from time to time, he spoke to boys like Samuel in the still of the night, through the angel of the Lord appearing to Joshua, and to Moses on Mt. Sinai. The prophets spoke after they listened to God, and kings claimed to be at the right hand of God listening; but at best, all they had was a voice to speak to them.

John describes it this way in his marvelous paraphrase of Genesis 1-2, this time with resurrection eyes to see it. In John 1, we read, “In the beginning was a voice—in the beginning was the word." The word-- the voice-- was with God, the word was God. The voice made it—all things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” Word, voice, light, all united together from the very beginning of creation. That's a voice worth hearing this season.

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