by Nan Doud, Guest Writer
As He was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of His disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
I have always been sort of unnerved when I see kids going around with headphones on. (Full disclosure, I’m listening to music on headphones as I type this, which is partly what inspired my thoughts.) While the headphones wearer may or may not also be wearing the countenance of someone lost in the sacred revery of their chosen tunes, they have ensured that their enjoyment of them is theirs and theirs alone. They are shut off from competing sounds, and have disinvited everyone from listening to something that, presumably, holds some special meaning for them. (Of course, it may be that they are just being polite so as not to torment those who don’t like the music they are grooving to at the moment, but go with me here…)
Some people wear their headphones and never make a sound. Others may be listening alone but they simply can’t help themselves… you will hear them croaking out tunes louder than they even realize. I’m one of those people who, when I love a song, I make everyone listen to it… loudly… so that no other sound or voice or thought can compete with the most recent song to have only… you know CHANGED MY LIFE. All must be subjected, treated to it. And if I’m wearing headphones, have mercy… it takes every ounce of self-control to not sing out loud. (Vanity can actually spare people at times like this.)
You may or may not have heard of this but there is a new bizarre trend in wedding receptions. Everyone on the dance floor wears a set of headphones and dances to whatever “channel” of music they want. First of all, I’m sorry, but to put it nicely, they look like idiots. Second of all, they are all dancing out of sync. Each of them is in their own little world. The room is perfectly quiet except in their heads. Let’s just say this makes things really awkward for the non-dancing crowd. Folks… it’s weird! It’s kind of hard to believe it’s a thing.
Can you imagine if we worshiped that way on Sunday mornings? What if we all put on headphones, picked a channel, and sang (or squawked) in the same room... but only the songs and/or arrangements we preferred! The thought gives me the bad kind of shivers. None of us would be blessed by singing (and hearing sung) the same words. We would miss the nuances of a choir of worshipers, from infant to elder saint, harmonizing the truth of the gospel. We would be a cacophony of praise. Somehow I don’t think that is what God had in mind when he said, “Make a joyful noise.”
So, friends… my question is, do we sometimes wear spiritual headphones? What I mean is, do we experience the grace and mercy of Jesus, whether we have just been born again, experienced the grace of repentance afresh, been blown away by something we’ve read in Scripture, had a heavy burden lifted from our souls, only to keep it inside of our noise-cancelling spiritual headphones?
Friends, the primary means by which God has ordained His grace and truth to go forth is through the spoken words of those who have been transformed by that grace and truth! He has written a story of grace into your life and you are the only one who is able to share that particular story with those who need to hear that there is a savior named Jesus who lived and died and rose again for sinners like you and me! Friends, this good news is supposed to be bursting forth out of us like an amplifier set to 11!
The gospel is good news for the world, not just for you!
God sent His son, Jesus, to save for Himself individuals, yes… but also, a PEOPLE. It is not just about you and Jesus, Jesus and you. This is supposed to make noise. This is supposed to be uncontainable, something that oozes all over the earth, covering it all over as the waters cover the sea. The mountains and trees will break forth! Folks… It might get loud!
If you have been made alive in Jesus, take off your noise canceling headphones. Let your quiet time break out into loud shouts and praises from the mountaintops. If you don’t, the rocks will!
LIFE GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT
Friends, do you wear headphones that keep what others need to hear contained, or does the testimony of God’s transforming grace ooze out of you? We cannot change how people think about God, but we can live before them the change He has made in us. Is there someone in particular that you know who needs to hear the truth of the Gospel? He has written a story of grace into your life and you are the only one who is able to share that particular story with those who need to hear that there is a savior named Jesus who lived and died and rose again for sinners like you and me! If you have been made alive in Jesus, take off your noise canceling headphones and make some noise.
Tomorrow I will introduce you to Paula Miles, our last Guest Writer in this What She Said! series. I’m so eager for you to soak in the truths Paula shares. My favorite is her devotional on Living Stones. I’d love to hear which devotional touches you the most!
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to “Finding Joy in the Hard Places with Autism” audio resource so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Paul and Jill Miller welcomed their sixth child, daughter Kim, into their home in 1982. It became apparent at a young age that Kim was behind in her developmental milestones. Kim was diagnosed as having autism, a disorder that was just beginning to be recognized by doctors. Kim’s diagnosis not only created enormous stress on their family, but also isolated Jill as she learned how to parent their precious child. In this remarkable conversation Paul and Jill take us back to those early days and how Kim’s life has taught them life-changing spiritual truths and led them to fall deeper in love with Jesus.
Nan Doud and her husband, Shawn, currently minister alongside one another at Samaritan Ministries International as Needs Advocates. They have spent 21 years of marriage in full time Christian ministry while raising their four boys who are all teenagers now. Nan enjoys writing poetry and meditations on the intersection of life and grace as expressed in the Bible. She loves articulating and dialoguing with people on how the gospel touches both our cultural and individual struggles.
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