Read Acts 28:23-31.
Are We Really Listening?
Ouch. When Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah to the Jewish leaders of Rome, he minces no words in telling them that they do not understand the good news. It’s a good thing that we Christians did listen and understand, right?
Or maybe not.
What if Isaiah’s words still apply to us today? What if we still do not understand what we hear? This Advent, let us consider what voices we may be overlooking — the voices of those oppressed because of their skin color, disability, gender, sexuality, or another aspect of themselves that was created by God and yet is scorned by some of God’s beloved children.
Listening to these voices is uncomfortable sometimes. It is often easier not to recognize our own privilege and the injustices in our society. But this passage claims that something good will come out of it — healing. Listening, perceiving, and understanding do not guarantee healing, but they do make it possible. And so in this Advent season, may we learn to live with this discomfort. May we open our eyes, ears, and hearts to the voices we have ignored. And may we take this crucial first step towards healing.
God of mercy, we confess that we have prioritized comfort over justice. We have closed our hearts to the cries of Your beloved. Help us to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to the voices we have ignored. May we seek Your healing this Advent. Amen.
United Campus Ministry of Aggieland
(Texas A&M University)