Senses & Lent: Spiritual Earwax

Welcome to Week 2: "Are you listening to Me?"

This week we're looking at ears and hearing. Can you believe it's already Week 2 of using our senses to help us focus our minds and hearts on Jesus this Lent??

Included is:

🎵 a hymn and song you might want to pop on

🎵 a Bible verse

🎵 a short thought to help us seek Jesus through our sense of hearing

🎵 an activity

...all designed to draw us into a closer walk with Jesus this Lent.

(In case the concept of the 5 senses is ringing a bell - yes, it was the theme for the 2022 Creative Christianity Summit! Everything you need through Lent is going to be here on the blog, don’t panic.

However if you paid for the 2022 Creative Christianity Summit, can we encourage you to dip back into it? Even if you don’t have time to listen to all the sessions, it’s worth popping on the worship sessions with Lou & Nathan Fellingham.)

Suggested worship song/hymn: Speak & I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

We struggled to decide between these two this week so why not listen to them both!

🎵 I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say (find your favourite arrangement!)

🎵 Speak by Lou Fellingham (Youtube link)

"Are you listening to Me?"

For those who have children, “are you listening to me?” is probably one of the most common phrases to come out of your mouth! At the same time, try and sneak a biscuit from a packet in the kitchen and suddenly the tiny rustle of the wrapper has a host of little mouths eager to help you! (Sorry for those who are fasting from sweet stuff…Easter is coming!)

Turns out hearing and listening aren’t the same thing. You can hear passively, it’s just noises hitting your eardrum - listening is something you choose to do. You’re choosing to process that noise and let your brain dwell on it.

Lou Fellingham wrote a song simply called “Speak”. In it she has the lines:

Speak, for I am listening

Shake my inner being

Wake my soul to answer my Creator

Talk, You have my focus

Sing, Your songs of freedom

Bring Your word of life to feed my soul

Isaiah 55:3: “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life.”

This week, let’s discipline ourselves to listen for God. That may mean switching off other noises. Sometimes that podcast can be truly helpful, other times maybe it needs turning off so you can listen.

(If you struggle when praying because of the internal noise, there’s a creative practice I recently came across where you choose a word or a sentence that will centre your prayer. It could be Abba Father, it could be the phrase “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner”, it could be something very specific to your walk with God. When you realise your mind has wandered into the noise of the brain’s passageways, draw your attention back to your word or phrase and keep going.)

Red Line

Activity: Prayer Noise

It's a simple activity this week, partly because of the chaos of life at the moment but also because we want to be able to pick up habits that stick and add to our faith walk for more than a few days!

Pick a noise this week that makes you think of Jesus. This is going to be pretty specific to each person. For me it’s birdsong. Whenever I hear birds singing, I’m reminded of their Creator Who knows and values each one of them. The Bible verse that springs to mind is Matthew 10:30-31: "And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

Each time you hear your ‘sound’, stop and pray.

What about the sound of a teaspoon clinking against your cup as you stir your sugar to remind you “God’s laws are pure, eternal, just. They are more desirable than gold. They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10.

Or (if you’re in the countryside), the sound of a sheep bleating brings to mind “The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23).

Use your sound as a mental alarm clock going off to remember to refocus your attention. It doesn't have to be a long prayer - it can be a "Thank You Jesus that You care for me" or "Please help me as I tackle _____."

If you fancy getting messy, why not find a DIY windchime you can make? There are some fantastic ones if you search online, some using things you'd be throwing out, or even kits you can buy. Then when you hear your windchimes, be reminded to pray.

Join us next week as we get our noses stuck into the smells of the Bible! And if you have the 2022 Creative Christianity Summit, why not spend some time recapping Day 2 this week?

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