example: “Lord, what does this text say
to me
What is it about my life that you want to change
by this text? What troubles me about this text?
Why am I not interested in this? Or perhaps:
What do I find pleasant in this text? What is it
about this word that moves me? What attracts
me? Why does it attract me?” When we make an
effort to listen to the Lord, temptations usually
arise. One of them is simply to feel troubled or
burdened, and to turn away. Another common
temptation is to think about what the text means
for other people, and so avoid applying it to our
own life. It can also happen that we look for
excuses to water down the clear meaning of the
text. Or we can wonder if God is demanding
too much of us, asking for a decision which we
are not yet prepared to make. This leads many
people to stop taking pleasure in the encounter
with God’s word; but this would mean forgetting
that no one is more patient than God our Father,
that no one is more understanding and willing to
wait. He always invites us to take a step forward,
but does not demand a full response if we are
not yet ready. He simply asks that we sincerely
look at our life and present ourselves honestly
before him, and that we be willing to continue to
grow, asking from him what we ourselves cannot
as yet achieve.
An ear to the people
154. The preacher also needs to keep his ear
to the people and to discover what it is that the
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