Let me hear    15.  Let me hear

“Let me hear joy and gladness . . .”    – Psalm 51:8

So my brother Sean in New Jersey sent me a text early this morning that read:  “You know it’s time to move to Florida when it takes you 30 minutes, a screwdriver, hairdryer and buckets of hot water just to get into your frozen car!  OMG, I need winter to stop!”   In the midst of the east coast’s long hard winter, he’s looking for a break from the cold.  “Let me hear,” he might say, “a forecast for a high of 63 and spring showers.”  That would be joy and gladness for him along with millions of others fatigued by the frost and snow.

The psalmist, in the midst of his dark, cold night of confession, pleads to God “Let me hear joy and gladness.”  It’s a statement of hope and trust that in God’s forgiveness there is reprieve, renewal, and better yet, joy.

If you walk into a public place, a library, airport terminal, a Starbucks, chances are you’ll see several people with either large headphones cradling their head or slender “ear buds” cascading from their ears and connected to their iPod or tablet.   They’re listening to their tunes or perhaps some radio interview.   When you’re driving around in the car, maybe you have the radio on.  I once took a road trip with a friend of mine who had the annoying habit of switching the radio station about every 30 seconds.   He was never satisfied with what was on — he always wanted to hear something else.

What do you want to hear this Lenten season?  What do you need to hear?

On a number of occasions when he is teaching, Jesus says  “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” (Mark 4:23)  Might this time of Lent be a time for extra listening to God.   We need not fuss with the dial and switch from station to station.   But having offered our own confessions of brokenness and our need for God’s grace, it’s time to just listen and wait — be it in meditation, on a walk, in our reading of scripture, in our listening to a sermon or hymn.  Just listen expectantly for joy and gladness.


Dear God,

You called out to your people in Deuteronomy, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.”   Might we hear our own names in that address — “Hear, O [insert your name].”  And upon hearing, may we come to  experience the joy and gladness of loving you with all our hearts, and with all our souls, and with all our might.