Did you know that you and I first began to learn to talk while inside our mother’s womb? Scientists tell us that unborn babies hear their mother’s voices clearly and distinctly throughout the pregnancy. Other voices outside the womb can be heard as well, like the father’s voice for example, but those voices are muffled by the fluids that surround the child. Once a child is born, while they immediately recognize and are bonded to their mother’s voice in a unique way, they don’t know how to speak languages. Vocabulary develops as a child is spoken to. Notice, every human being begins life by listening and being spoken to first. We can speak only as we are spoken to.
When we look at the creation story recorded in Genesis chapters one and two, we see the same thing. Throughout the first two chapters, God is doing all of the speaking. Creation, including humanity, is listening and responding appropriately. It is not until near the end of the second chapter that we hear man speak about woman. It wasn’t until God invited man to speak, namely to name the animals (2:19-20), that the man shared his voice. Humanity, despite being created with a voice box, began its existence by listening first and speaking second.
Twentieth Century Lutheran pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was asked why he meditated. He replied, “Because I am a preacher of the Word. I cannot expound the Scripture for others if I do not let it speak daily to me. I will misuse the Word in my office as preacher if I do not continue to meditate upon it in prayer …
“Every Christian needs quiet time for prayer. The theologian who wants to be a Christian needs it more than anyone else. More time for God’s Word and for prayer is needed. Before our daily bread should be the daily Word. Only thus will the bread be received with thanksgiving. Before our daily work should be the morning prayer. Only thus will the work be done as the fulfillment of God’s command. The morning must yield an hour of quiet time for prayer and common devotion. That is certainly not wasted time. How else would we prepare ourselves to face the tasks, cares and temptations of the day?”
Summertime is a great time for time with family, friends and a great time to spend some quality time with God. If you have a back porch, consider setting aside a few minutes every morning (if you don’t do it already) before you start your day. Sit silently with God in prayer and let God speak to you through the Scriptures. As you do so, you will learn the language of divine love and speak to your neighbor with grace and peace.
Pastor Mike Weaver