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Come as a stranger, leave as a friend

My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me. – John 10:27

Yesterday, seminary student Steve Pozzato asked me a question, one I had not ever contemplated. It was such a good question I told Steve I might use it someday, of course, giving him the credit. I decided to use it for my Pastoral Ponderings.

What Steve asked is, “How do you hear the voice of Jesus?” We know the voice of our friends and loved ones, so we must know what Jesus’ voice sounds like.

This was a fascinating question. My first logical answer was he sounds like he is speaking Aramaic, a language I do not understand. I knew that was not what Steve meant. The question was about tone, dialect, manner. I recalled as a kid hearing the voice of Jesus in Andrew Llyod Webber’s  rock opera, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” with Jesus’ voice sounding strained and distressed.

I recall hearing Jesus speak in the old Easter stories my mother watched on television, where Jesus had blonde hair, blue eyes and spoke in the King James Version English. “The Passion,” by Mel Gibson, provided us with dialogue for Jesus. It was a subtitled movie and Jesus spoke in Aramaic. There were moments of tenderness, and times when he seemed to have a sense of humor woven in his tone.

The more recent series, “The Chosen,” has provided a voice of Jesus that resonates. The series is not yet complete, and I am certain there are scenes to come where we hear the voice of Jesus angry, distressed, and sad.

It is such an interesting thing to ponder. We know the voice of our loved ones, and if a child calls for their mother in a crowd, the mother knows the voice of their child. Animals know the voice of their owners. The sound of a voice is a powerful thing, the knowing of a voice is nothing less than divine.

In your quiet times I invite you to listen to what Jesus’ voice sounds like to you. What is he saying? Let Steve know, maybe he will present it to us in a sermon someday soon!

Pastor Val

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One Response

  1. Wow, this is just a simple question and a complex one at the same time. To me, it is simple. I hear the voice of Jesus all the time, typically comforting me or letting me know I’m loved. I don’t hear a voice like Pastor’s or my wife’s or other, but a voice I recognize as his. I hear his voice sometimes in meditation, sometimes in my walks, but almost always when I am at my lowest points. It’s complex to Pastor’s point that sometimes we let others (ie, movies, shows) dictate to us what Jesus’ voice should sound like or even what Jesus should look like. Let go of expectations and just listen and feel, he is there, looking and sounding like a dear loving brother – however that may be to you. And if it is different than how he appears to me, that’s OK, because he knows what we need and that is how he appears and sounds to each of us individually.

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