3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the men and women and children old enough to hear with understanding were attentive to the book of the law! Although I’m sure that it differs from one community to another, I doubt if we would be able to pay attention to someone reading from the Bible for two or three hours.
Just think about it. Houses of worship, or even our own homes, that are full of people wanting to know what God has for us to hear. I’m afraid that our attention span is pretty short! Ministers, priest and rabbis are hard pressed to get through a sermon of more than 15 to 20 minutes without hearing complaints from some of their congregants. I’m sure there are exceptions.
In fact, on a mission trip to Haiti, I met a priest who was new to the community and after he had been there a few weeks, a group of men from his community confronted him and asked him if he didn’t love them. He was horrified, and asked them what they meant. They answered saying that his sermons were so short they didn’t feel that they were being fed. Can you say as much for your experience of church? I know I can’t.
For those who do not have a church community, how much time do you give to God’s word? Those who had returned from exile, were so grateful for God’s mercy, they would listen for hours. We are also recipients of God’s mercy.
May we follow their example and spend more time being attentive to his Word.
Prayer: Gracious God, you have blessed us; you have forgiven us; you have saved us from our sins. May we resolve to spend more time listening to your word this year. Amen.