Dear Hyde Park Family,
“Can you hear me now?”
You may remember that famous line from the advertising campaign for Verizon Wireless. It began on January 14, 2002, when nearly half of all Americans owned a cell phone. The ad assured Verizon subscribers that their cell coverage was so comprehensive that they could hear the other person’s voice from virtually anywhere in the country, at any time.
Think about the first time you ever owned and used a portable phone. Remember the remarkable feeling of being able to hear someone’s voice on the other end, wherever you happened to be? Remember the freedom and awe it was to feel connected at any time?
Now, let’s take it to a spiritual level. Wouldn’t it be nice if God’s voice worked that way, too? To hear a clear, audible voice from God telling us what we are to do, who we are to be, and what we are to say? Let’s admit that we are a bit jealous of some of our biblical ancestors, who apparently were able to hear God’s voice, clear as day.
- Abraham heard God say, “Pick up your family and move.” And he did.
- Moses heard God say in a burning bush, “Deliver my people.” So, he did, too.
- Elijah heard God say in a still, small voice, “You’re not alone.” And he wasn’t.
Wouldn’t picking a job, selecting a mate, deciding on house, even choosing what outfit to wear be a whole lot easier if we could hear God say to us, audibly,
- “Pursue this degree instead of that one. I have plans for you.”
- Or, “Go to the coffee shop at 5pm. The person I want you to marry is there.”
- Or, “I want you to live in that townhouse. The one by the water. Put in an offer.”
The truth is, the spiritual life is not at all like picking up a cell phone and hearing God pick up on the other side. Instead, following Jesus is built on faith, and the practices that help us stretch, grow, and mature. In that way, learning how to listen for God’s voice is just as important as what we hear God say. It is that regular flexing and developing of those spiritual muscles that help us grow in our faith, and live life as God intends.
That is what our new worship series is all about. It’s called “The Art of Hearing God’s Voice,” and it is an exploration of how to develop the spiritual practices that allow us to listen to God, and join with others in the journey.
Starting this Sunday, we’ll discover answers to important questions such as,
- How can you hear God’s voice?
- How do you discern God’s will for your life?
- What do you do when God seems silent or absent?
- Does God speak through your dreams?
- How can we listen for God together?
And if you haven’t yet signed up to be a part of a small group studying a book titled “Called” by Susan Robb, it is not too late to do so starting this week, and you can sign up here. It’s principles and stories will be a helpful companion to our worship series.
Join us this Sunday for worship, in person or online, and be sure to invite a friend whom you think would benefit from this important and timely series. So that together, we can answer the question,
“Yes, God, we can hear you now.”
Grace and Peace,
JUST A FEW MORE! (THANK YOU!)
Thank you to the many of you who have stepped up to nearly fill all our volunteer positions in children and youth ministry. We learned this week that of the 30 volunteers we need to fully staff our 9:30 Sunday morning children’s ministries we only have three more opportunities to serve! They are also planning to resume programming at 11am starting Sunday, October 2, and they only need three more volunteers for that hour. In addition, our youth program is celebrating the hiring of our new Director of Youth Ministries who starts next Monday, and you can be a part of the exciting team that is working with our teens. To volunteer for children’s ministries, contact Kim Apthorp and to volunteer for youth ministries, contact Katherine Cosmas.