Listening Skills

Reflection 16th November 2020

Stuart Melling writes:

The theme for our Zoom Coffee morning was, ‘How do we know when God is speaking to us?’ We went into small groups to read Jeremiah (Jeremeia) chapter 29, verses11-14.

Oherwydd myfi sy’n gwybod fy mwriadau a drefnaf ar eich cyfer,’ medd yr ARGLWYDD, ‘bwriadau o heddwch, nid niwed, i roi ichwi ddyfodol gobeithiol. Yna galwch arnaf, a dewch i weddïo arnaf, a gwrandawaf arnoch. Fe’m ceisiwch a’m cael; pan chwiliwch â’ch holl galon fe’m cewch,’ medd yr ARGLWYDD, ‘ac adferaf ichwi lwyddiant, a’ch casglu o blith yr holl genhedloedd, ac o’r holl leoedd y gyrrais chwi iddynt,’ medd yr ARGLWYDD; ‘ac fe’ch dychwelaf i’r lle y caethgludwyd chwi ohono.’

For surely I know the plans I have for you’, says the Lord, ‘plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.  Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.  When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,  I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

We started with a prayer, read the passage to ourselves and took time to think our own thoughts. Then we shared with each other which words had the most meaning for us.

Each member in our group of six reported that a different part of the text had a particular appeal or relevance to them. Listening to everyone speak about what they had found was remarkable. So much was of value, new and worth considering, in just FOUR verses of God’s word!

When we were back in the full group I was moved to suggest that although private prayer and personal time with God is always helpful, so much more is revealed when we read the Bible together.     

Another thought came to me as I reflected on this experience later in the day. I remembered what Jesus promised:

“A thrachefn rwy’n dweud wrthych, os bydd dau ohonoch yn cytuno ar y ddaear i ofyn am unrhyw beth, fe’i rhoddir iddynt gan fy Nhad, yr hwn sydd yn y nefoedd. Oherwydd lle y mae dau neu dri wedi dod ynghyd yn fy enw i, yr wyf yno yn eu canol.”

“Truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:19-20

As we talked, more was happening than just a pooling of different insights. We had started Zoom by asking “How do we know when God is speaking to us?” Perhaps God chose to answer our question by a practical demonstration.

Maybe he spoke to each one of us personally – then through us to each other – as a sign of his presence. Maybe this was our reminder that he is always there when we gather in his name, just as Jesus promised. What do you think?

Dduw cariadlon, diolchwn mai ti sydd Dduw sy’n addysgu’n ddyddiol mwy amdanat ti dy hun, sydd o hyd â mwy i’w ddatguddio am dy gariad. Llefara wrthym nawr a dyro i ni glustiau i glywed. Amen.

Loving Father, we thank you that you are a God who daily teaches us more about yourself, who has always more to reveal of your love. Speak to us now and give us ears to hear. Amen.

Prayer: Nick Fawcett © Kevin Mayhew Ltd (cyfieithiad, Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair)

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