Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. Psalm 78:1-4
Do you hear Asaph demand, “Listen!” This demand is all about the importance of passing our faith on to children. As they will carry the message to another generation, it’s imperative that the nurture of our children must be one of our greatest priorities. It’s a major part of Lutheran Spirit.
Consider these main points of Psalm 78-
1- Listen and obey. “Give ear” has the same tone as a parent or teacher saying to child, “Listen to what I say AND obey.” The notion is for the child to pay close attention, lean in, be focused on the upcoming message. A coach uses a whistle, a teacher may raise a hand, an emergency announcement may be alerted by an alarm.
Note here- Asaph uses words…and so does our God. Mere words? No. He uses His own words and His Son- the Word Incarnate.
2- Tell a story and share its meaning. Some stories need no explanation; some stories do. Jesus’ stories (parables) caught the listener’s ear and led them to wonder, “What does this mean?” In Asaph’s case, he told the stories of the Israelites. The stories shared God’s care for his people and the cycle of judgment and mercy of the Israelites.
Why should we share this story….over and over again? We are just as poor at taking events to heart as the Israelites were!
3- Remember and share. Moses wrote, “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.: (Deuteronomy 4:9). The narratives of the New Testament and Old Testament are for us to remember and share. Why? In these narratives, we see God’s faithfulness, his compassion, and his tenacity in desiring all to know him. When we fail to share what is known to be true, we contribute to a generation growing apart from Christ.
4- Repeat #1. All this listening! All this telling! All this sharing! We hear this from Asaph but we hear “Listen, Share and Obey” over and over by the prophets and Christ himself. By the prophets, “Here oh Israel…” and from Jesus, “Go, make disciples…baptizing….teaching…”
Lutheran Spirit? Listen! Share! Obey!