Today's Reading: Mark 7:31-37
Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. (Mark 7:35)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If you can't hear, you can't speak. Sometimes, when a person goes deaf later in life, they can still speak, though not always very well. But when someone is born deaf, they usually will never speak plainly, because they can't hear to learn how to talk nor hear whether they are speaking correctly. The same is true about our spiritual ears. If we remain deaf to God's Word, whatever we say about God will be nothing but noisy babbling!
When Jesus opens the ears and looses the tongue of this man, he is also teaching us a lesson about faith. When we are brought into the kingdom of God, the Lord has opened our ears to hear His Word, given us faith by the Holy Spirit and then opened our mouths to speak plainly, correctly, confessing Jesus and His salvation.
The world is filled with people who have something to say about God, but because they don't first hear the Word, what they say is not right. It's based on their feelings, not what the Lord Himself says. The “impediment” of our tongues is really sin. Being born in sin, we can't say much about God. We don't know Him and we don't want to hear what He has to say. But Christ, in the waters of holy baptism, has opened our ears and lips so that we may speak what is true about Him.
With open ears, we hear the Good News that the Son of God has come and taken away our sins by His death on the cross. We hear how Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. With our ears open we hear the words spoken with the water of Holy Baptism. We hear the absolution of our pastors. We hear the reading of the Scriptures and the sermon preached. We hear the words of Jesus that give us His body and blood and our mouths are opened to receive Christ and the forgiveness of sins. Then with mouths opened by the grace of God, we return a sacrifice of praise in our prayers and singing. Deaf and dumb. That's what we are. But now with ears and mouths opened, we receive the salvation of God. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and merciful God, whose gift it is that Your faithful possess all things pertaining to faith and life, we implore You that we may so faithfully cling to Your promises in this life that we fail not finally to attain to Your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.