Thursday, December 20, 2012

Awaken Your Senses to Christ's Advent: Day 3

"Our sense of hearing is a rare, sophisticated, complex gift--the collaborative efforts of our outer, middle and inner ears with our auditory nervous system. Described simply, our ears pick up sound vibrations, which are transformed into nerve impulses that travel to the brain and are interpreted based on our memory of that sound. Amazingly, we can differentiate between thousands of auditory memories. And even though our auditory radar is turned on all the time--even when we're sleeping--hearing a sound is very different from listening to it." (Awaken Your Senses: Exercises for Exploring the Wonder of God, pg. 126)

During Advent, many of the sounds that come to us--like Christmas carols, the ringing of the Salvation Army bell, or the reading of the Christmas story--have deep roots in our childhood. We recognize them because they are stored as a memory. 

I had one of those memories this morning as I read and prayed. Quite unintentionally, the words of the Apostle's Creed came to mind--words that I recited each Sunday in the Presbyterian church where I was raised. I "heard" the words file across my mind, condensing the Christmas story into a few simple lines.

There is something powerful about hearing our own voice read, speak or sing the familiar words of a creed, carol or the Christmas story. The challenge is to not merely "hear" the words, but "listen" to them.

As part of awakening your senses to Christ's Advent today, why don't you choose a familiar song, Scripture or story and read it out loud, being careful to listen to what it says to you today.

Here's the Apostle's Creed if this is one that has meaning for you: 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
    the Maker of heaven and earth,
    and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
    born of the virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell. 
The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
    and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
    from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
    the holy catholic church;
    the communion of saints;
    the forgiveness of sins;
    the resurrection of the body;
    and the life everlasting.



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