What Kind of Music?

Communication may be the most difficult human activity. Sometimes successful communication hinges on knowing how to say what needs to be said. Other times the focus is on how well we listen. After all, listening is a very important part of communication.

Dallas Willard, in his book The Divine Conspiracy, tells something of a parable to amplify what happens when we miss what is important. We may find ourselves flying upside down unaware.

It seems as though there is something like vertigo taking place with those to whom Jesus refers in the Gospel passage for this Sunday. A question from John the Baptist triggers Jesus’ words. Moving from John the Baptist to those who heard his message and still seem to be wrestling with the meaning of it all Jesus says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

On this note hearing is very much a part of communication. Our skill at listening requires paying attention. In an interesting way Jesus describes those who fail to hear as though they are children unable to distinguish a proper response to songs for dancing and music for mourning. The result would appear obvious. When the occasion calls for dancing there is mourning and when one would be found mourning instead they are dancing.

Think about images from around our world. We have seen occasions where death is celebrated. Horrors responded to with jubilation. How could this be possible? Maybe we have misplaced not just our ears but our hearts.

Jesus knows all to well the kind of fatigue that results from these mixed up experiences. He is also aware the need is for peace. If we cannot hear the music and offer an appropriate response, then maybe we should surrender to the One who calls us to quit working so hard yet missing the point.

“Come to me,” says Jesus. “You who are weary and heavy laden. I will give you rest.” The need is for ears to hear what is helpful lest we continue through life getting the music wrong and our feet out of place.


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Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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