I was at a recent Scout gathering and was astounded with an observation. The Scout sign is the symbol and call to listen. I am aware it means more than this. The predominant use during meetings is to remind everyone, parents and children alike, to listen and hear what is happening.
Listening is a spiritual discipline we learn and struggle with from the earliest of ages. Ancient Christians began the practice of silence to seek and hopefully hear God's voice. They believed they had to listen before they could speak any truth.
The passage today is about hearing God's voice anew. The disciples are overcome with the Holy Spirit and the power to proclaim God's Word to faithful people from around the world. God blessed the apostles with the ability to unify in truth people who were deeply divided because of language, race, geography, and culture. The hearers of the Word were astounded and had to listen. They let go of their perceptions and differences to embrace the beauty of God's unifying call.
This week we celebrate all those who hear the call, listened to God's Word, and by the power of Holy Spirit seek to spend the rest of life sharing Divine love. Christians around the world this week welcome new members and young adults declaring their Christian faith. These candidates of faith let go of their own perceptions, took intentional time to pray and listen, and are joyously ready to proclaim the Good News.
In a world where we are divided because we insist on speaking instead of hearing let these new prophets lead us. In a time when we struggle to be in community because even when we listen we spend more than half our energy judging the words and creating our argumentative response, let the openness of the stranger who now speaks our language show us the way to God's voice. Let us joyously hear God's Word of miraculous love anew in the voices who astound us with their fresh vision.