Do You Hear What I Hear?

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT

What is your favorite Christmas song (hymn or carol)?  I’ll admit that I’m hard pressed to pick only one but would have to cast my vote for O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.  I think the music is beautiful, and the words are so full of promise.  Each verse ends with the words, “Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”  The Israelites had been promised a Messiah, and they waited, and waited, and waited.  Yet they heard nothing from God for 400 years.  Close your eyes for a moment and let that sink into your mind–they heard NOTHING from God for 400 years!  Think about how many generations would live and die in 400 years.  Think about how many Jewish parents may have told their children, “the Messiah will likely come in your lifetime” yet it did not happen.  Think about how discouraged they must have been as the years passed, and no Messiah appeared.  Think about whether they began to lose faith and doubt God and His promises.  They HEARD NOTHING!

We have a Deaf Ministry in our church, and being the good Southern Baptist that I am….well, I sit in the same spot every week.  But that spot affords me the perfect vantage point to watch our pastor’s wife as she translates her husband’s words into “sign language” for the deaf folks sitting on the second pew.  Many of the folks on that pew are TOTALLY deaf—they hear NOTHING.  Some of them are partially deaf—yet if I spoke to them, my words would sound garbled, and they would be unable to understand me.  On Sunday morning in our worship service this week, we watched as one of the deaf men stood before us and “signed” that beautiful song “Mary, Did You Know?”  I heard the music but he watched the projector screen at the back of the sanctuary so he could see the words to sign.  I was spellbound by the graceful movements of his white-gloved hands and how he translated the feelings of that song with his gestures.

It seems that lately I’ve been exposed to a lot of things about hearing–or the lack of hearing…about not hearing from God for 400 years, about my deaf church friends, about what life would be like for me if I could not hear.  I am so thankful for my sense of hearing—being able to hear the voices of  my loved ones and the ability to hear music, especially in this Christmas season.  And I am so thankful that after 400 years of silence, God spoke—spoke a Baby into being.  May you have a blessed Christmas and may you hear your favorite song!!!  Merry Christmas!
Leslie Kelley, (c) 2019

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