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Are You Listening?

I am about to—or I am going to—die: either expression is correct. —Last words of Dominique Bouhours, famous French grammarian

You’ve probably been in churches when the pastor is there for his last Sunday. He’s retiring or resigning—or being retired or resigned—and it’s his last opportunity to preach. If you’ve ever heard one of those sermons, perhaps you said, “Well, if he had preached this way all the time, we would have kept him!” Pastors let it all out on those last Sundays. All the things that they’ve always wanted to say and always felt led to say but were afraid to say, they finally say. And off they go.

Last words are powerful and often become famous. Jesus’ last words to His disciples during the Last Supper are what many theologians call “The Farewell Discourse.” Jesus holds nothing back (not that He was ever in the practice of doing so!). He makes it very clear what He wants His disciples to know and remember. Those words transcend time and distance to speak to us today: Love, obedience, truth, fear, and being alone—all important issues we wrestle with as we discover who we are in Christ. Jesus speaks clearly about these things. Are we listening?

I am the way, the truth and the life. —Jesus

Lord God, as the noise and pressure of earthly life press in on my soul, give me the willingness and the ability to be still and know that You are my God, that You are my counselor and my comforter. I want to engage with Your living Word—even some of those dusty verses I heard so long ago. May Your words be the meditation of my heart as I live as one who is free. Amen.

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