Rev. Bob Wickizer
Isaiah 55:1-5, 10-13; Psalm 65:9-14; Romans 8:9-17; Matthew 13:1-9,18-23
11 July, 1999

The apostle Paul was right, "the letter kills" (2 Cor 3:6) At the beach recently an old friend and I talked about religion. As a dentist my friend could not understand how I as a scientist could embrace religion so heartily. After all he said, churches are full of all those people praying all the time. They just stand there and say words that they sometimes don't even mean. He went on and on about this and when he finished I replied that prayer is much more about listening than talking. Prayer is about being fully present and quiet before the holy in order to hear that still small voice. Harrummph he retorted. I'll have to think about that.

But what about the Bible he continued. I think it is just a good book with some moral lessons in it no different than a storybook we used to teach our children about morals and values. Why do so many people read the Bible and argue about it he said. Maybe because when they read (like what we discussed about prayer), they are too busy telling themselves what they want to hear and not listening to the Word. "Listening to what they read" he exclaimed. "Why would anyone need to do that?" After pausing for him to calm down I answered "because hearing the living Word of God is not the same as what you read in private."

"You're trained in the biological sciences, let's consider this from a neurological perspective" I said. Developmentally we both know that the eye is the first thing to develop in an organism including humans. We can understand that because we need eyes to help us obtain food. In one sense, the eyes are "wired" right to our stomachs. But the ears develop a bit later. We don't need ears to obtain our food, but our ancestors needed ears to avoid BEING food. The movie Jurassic Park made that quite clear. So in a similar sense, our ears are "wired" if you will straight to our "fight or flight" circu ...

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