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Friday, April 17, 2020
Christ speaks, and listening to his voice
new life the dead receive;
the mournful waken to rejoice;
the poor in heart believe.
My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of thy name.
“O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” (vv. 3–4) by Charles Wesley
Hymn 610, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal
Whose voice do you love?
The voice that makes your heart quicken. The sound of which gets you to drop that very important thing you’re doing and come. The one that calms you down when you are teetering on the edge.
When I ask myself that question, I am fortunate enough to think of several friends’ voices. I cherish the memory of what my parents and grandparents sounded like. Outstanding teachers’ voices flood my mind. It’s amazing, isn’t it, how distinctive all these voices are? Even if the speakers are the same gender, age—even if they’re saying the same words—we know and treasure certain voices and would never confuse them with any others.
Though I’ve sung about it hundreds of times, I have never really thought about what Jesus’ voice sounds like. This hymn indicates that it’s quite something: giving the dead new life, gladdening the sorrowful, fortifying the humble. What does that kind of power sound like?
Maybe it’s akin to the voice that I occasionally hear in deepest prayer. Perhaps it’s like nothing I have ever heard or can imagine. It could be some divine mix of all the voices who have spoken to me in self-giving and profound love. Our faith tells us that one day we will hear it: clear and certain and unmistakable.
Though it’s daunting to think about, I want to hear Jesus’ voice.
Risen Jesus, like Mary in the garden, may I recognize you when you say my name. Help me to use that experience to better proclaim your life-giving love to those most in need. Amen.
Written by Susan Quaintance, Director, Center for Life and Learning
Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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