Can you hear me now? This always brings back to mind the annoying commercials from Verizon that asked that question repeatedly. For almost a decade that was Verizon's slogan and ad campaign.
At Pentecost the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples and they miraculously speak in tongues such that everyone hears the Gospel in their own native tongue. God does not have to ask, “Can you hear me now?” Because God has poured out his spirit on all flesh, all can hear the Lord. Just as Peter said that day in Acts 2:17 quoting the Prophet Joel, "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people..."
That day has come, and all people can hear the Lord. Let me say that again– all people can hear the Lord. The miracle at Pentecost was that everyone heard the Gospel message that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, crucified for our sins in their native languages.
Every year at Vacation Bible School I am reminded of how powerful it is to hear the Lord. My church just spent a week putting on VBS, and every year there are kids who begin to hear God for themselves. It is no longer just what they have been taught, but now what they believe. It is as if they are hearing the Gospel message for the first time because they are asking real questions and beginning to wrestle with faith.
Every year this happens at VBS and every year I am thankful, because when someone else hears the word of God for the first time it becomes real all over again to everyone else. It is as if I, too, get to hear it for the first time again.
It is a sad place when a church forgets what it is like to hear that Jesus Christ died for me. I believe every time we share the story of Jesus it becomes new all over again, regardless if it is the thousandth time or the second time.
We cannot ask if the Lord has spoken, and God does not ask, "Can you hear me now?" We have His word, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit. We have heard, the question is will we listen?
Where is the Holy spirit speaking in your life? Where do you hear the spirit calling to you as if for the first time?
May the Lord help us not just to hear, but obey as we listen.
– Ian Conerly is the pastor of New Oregon United Methodist Church