Listening to One Another

Listening to One Another

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen…” (James 1:19).

 One of the strengths of Hope Church is our ability to listen to one another.

I have seen this often over the years. In times of discernment, the people of Hope gather in significant numbers to listen to another. We take the time to hear each other’s thoughts and questions. Listening is a way of love.

Now I have seen this again in the listening sessions that followed the presentation of the preliminary design for facility renovation. The property development task force has been delighted by the strong attendance and the respectful sharing of ideas. Listening is a way of learning.

It could so easily be different. Cultivating a posture of listening is not easy, as Peter demonstrates during the transfiguration of Jesus. How overwhelming it must have been! Being led by Jesus to a high mountain, then watching Jesus change, his face shining like the sun, his clothes becoming white as light. And suddenly alongside Jesus are two heroes of the faith, Moses and Elijah. Peter, presumably bursting with nervous energy, commences on a speech that no one seems to want to hear. We are then given one of the more amusing moments in Scripture. “He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him’” (Matthew 17:5). Peter, remember, “there is a time to keep silence” (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Listening is a way of discipleship.

It will be important to keep listening well to one another as the facility/property redevelopment proceeds. We have discovered that this is a fluid process. New ideas keep emerging. Concepts and design plans will evolve. We move forward together. Long ago we learned “how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Listening is a way of fully knowing the people God has called to be the body of Christ at Hope Church.

by Pastor David Lenz