“Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.” - Jeremiah 7:2
Hear the Word of the LORD!
All over the world, on a typical Sunday, when there are no quarantines, millions of souls will enter through the doors of houses of worship. Most of them will be greeted by some unsung hero who stands in the doorway and hands them a worship folder. They will receive a smile, a handshake, and a greeting.
Later, someone will rise to the platform and utter words like, “Welcome to worship!”
There will be a call to worship, a prayer of invocation seeking the presence of God, and a song of praise exalting the Lord. At some point, someone will rise to read from the scriptures and may declare these words of the psalmist, “Hear the Word of the LORD.”
Are you ready to hear?
Are you ready to act on what you hear?
When we enter the gates of God’s house whether at home, at church, or in nature, it is the readiness of our hearts that determines whether or not we truly hear what God has to say. It is as much a matter of choice as our willingness to receive a good meal.
The extent to which we hear, internalize, and are changed by scripture depends more on our receptivity than on anyone’s delivery.
As you sit and prepare for worship and for hearing the Word of the Lord this morning, willingly make yourself available to God for what He has to say to you.
For those who would hear that word through Jeremiah, it would be an indictment against the incongruence in their lives between what that professed with their mouths and what they possessed in their lifestyles. They came to the Temple to reinforce a false narrative of their own security.
Fort those who would hear the words of Paul, it would be a call to genuine faith. He admonished them to draw a distinction between outward forms and reminders of true worship and the inward experience of grace.
Jesus would speak at the Temple about hypocrisy, inconsistency, and Messianic hope.
The psalmist would lead a song of praise and prayer calling on God to restore His people.
To each of these voices would be afforded a listening ear and a response of one kind or another.
Say with Samuel of old, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth.”