Allow your heart to burn when you hear God’s word

Published 9:15 am Friday, October 5, 2012

Across the Pastor’s Desk

By the Rev. Krista Stokke, Interim chaplain at St John’s Lutheran Home

Jesus went to Nazareth where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath he went to the synagogue. He stood up to read the scripture and was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.” — Luke 4:18

When we listen to the word of God in the Bible, we are invited to listen through the lens of hopefulness. The words of the Bible are not empty promises, but they are promises full of the power to change our lives and the world.

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Opening the Bible is like opening the door to a world filled with hope, because Jesus is on the other side of the door waiting for us to let him in. His promise is if we open the door, he will come and share nourishment with us, and his nourishment will strengthen us for our life’s journey.

As Jesus calls, will you go?

In Mark, as Jesus walks on the shore of Lake Galilee, he sees two fishermen, Simon and his brother Andrew, catching fish with a net. Jesus says to them, “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people. At once they left their nets and went with him.”

And so the lives of the two disciples began anew, they heard the word of God and they acted on it. They gave up everything for Jesus, who would love and save them.

When Jesus calls you, will you go? Living well in response to God’s word means that we allow what we hear in scripture to guide every dimension in our lives — our jobs, our pastimes, our households, our finances, our friendships, our battles, our thoughts and our words are guided by God’s word.

After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. He spoke the word of God to them, explaining how all scripture points to him. They heard the word of God, took it to heart, and were preparing to encounter him personally in the breaking of the bread. Their response was action: These two disciples raced back to Jerusalem at night, the fear of the night could not overpower the fire burning in their hearts, a fire burning for love for Jesus and for love of their neighbors who needed to hear the good news.

Hearing the word of God set their hearts on fire. Does your heart burn when you hear God’s word? Do you allow the fire to motivate you into action?