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Going to Church Today? Consider This.

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expect a conversation that will help sort things

Probably someone will speak to the group—that’s typically what happens. And there will be singing. Prayers will be offered. You’ll shake a few hands. Maybe you’ll learn something new. Maybe you heart will be lightened. Your load lifted.

If heart-lightening or load-lifting happens, stop and think why. Was it because of magic words spoken from the pulpit? Not likely, as there are no magic words. But there are words that find a home in a person’s conscious thought and get absorbed there to do some work. One of the tests the old church fathers used to determine if a letter or text should be included in the Canon (our Bible today) was whether it had the power to change people—did the text speak with authority into a people’s lives? Did something happen because of hearing the text? When those old words get uttered from the pulpit today—they are not magic—but their truthiness has sticking power.

Just as likely: you meet someone who says something that affects you. Makes you think. Makes you reconsider an impending decision. And perhaps that same heart-lightening or load-lifting occurs. Sometimes we meet people who speak truth and it has the same effect.

And consider this: perhaps you go into that time expecting to hear something. What I mean is, sometimes we move into a situation actually expecting to hear something that could have the power to change how we think or act. You might call this listening. Or attentive listening. Or attenuated listening. Or listening on steroids. But whatever you call it, this is the most productive penultimate approach: listening with expectation. Then you pick up the tasty truthiness from any source.

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Image credit: Douglas Smith via 2headedsnake

Written by kirkistan

September 1, 2013 at 5:00 am

Going to Church Today? Consider This.

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expect a conversation that will help sort things

Probably someone will speak to the group—that’s typically what happens. And there will be singing. Prayers will be offered. You’ll shake a few hands. Maybe you’ll learn something new. Maybe you heart will be lightened. Your load lifted.

If heart-lightening or load-lifting happens, stop and think why. Was it because of magic words spoken from the pulpit? Not likely, as there are no magic words. But there are words that find a home in a person’s conscious thought and get absorbed there to do some work. One of the tests the old church fathers used to determine if a letter or text should be included in the Canon (our Bible today) was whether it had the power to change people—did the text speak with authority into a people’s lives? Did something happen because of hearing the text? When those old words get uttered from the pulpit today—they are not magic—but their truthiness has sticking power.

Just as likely: you meet someone who says something that affects you. Makes you think. Makes you reconsider an impending decision. And perhaps that same heart-lightening or load-lifting occurs. Sometimes we meet people who speak truth and it has the same effect.

And consider this: perhaps you go into that time expecting to hear something. What I mean is, sometimes we move into a situation actually expecting to hear something that could have the power to change how we think or act. You might call this listening. Or attentive listening. Or attenuated listening. Or listening on steroids. But whatever you call it, this is the most productive penultimate approach: listening with expectation. Then you pick up the tasty truthiness from any source.

###

Image credit: Douglas Smith via 2headedsnake

Written by kirkistan

May 20, 2012 at 4:00 am

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