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Sunday Devotion: 5 May 2019, Third Sunday of Easter

Sunday Devotions

Dignity in listening

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Main readings: Acts 9.1-6 (7-20); Ps 30; Revelation 5.6-14; John 21.1-19

Supplementary readings: Ps 124; John 11.1-15; Revelation 2.1-11; Ps 116.11-18, 117; Acts 9.22-31

“But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” (Acts 9.6)

As a speech pathologist, I was often the one people spoke to when there was nobody else that would listen. People like the man with Parkinson’s disease who had given up talking with anyone because it was too hard to engage in conversation. Or, the young man with autism on an international exchange who was trying to work out why it was so hard to make friends. Listening carefully and giving time to these people were transformational.

When we talk about people being marginalised or neglected, perhaps they are closer than we might think. It took “a light from heaven” flashing around Saul for him to see that in persecuting the Christians around him, he was persecuting God (v.4). In our time-pressured society, are we neglecting the vulnerable around us and consequently neglecting our Lord?

What does it mean to get up, go, and trust we’ll be told what to do (v.6)? Perhaps it is to find and listen to God’s messengers. They may be the very people we overlook or disregard. Can we meet the vulnerable where they are at, be present, and give them the time and attention their dignity warrants?

For Saul, God’s call to action came with a heavenly light and a voice from heaven. How does God call us to offer the gift of attentive listening, time and companionship? Let us not miss the message when it comes.

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