Have you heard God’s voice?

I have been massively encouraged – and challenged – today by Jacqueline Jones’ hymn Have You Heard God’s Voice? The deaths of LGBT clubbers in Orlando and of Jo Cox brought the final verse into stark relief:

Will you watch the news with the eyes of faith
and believe it could be different?
Will you share your views using words of grace?
Will you leave a thoughtful imprint?
In two services we reflected on the call of Romans 12: 1-21, especially vv17-18: “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

The challenge of living well “as far as it depends on you” in an increasingly angry country is hard. The EU Referendum debate has become more and more bitter and, some would say, has given rise to the acts of violence which led to Jo Cox’s death.

 How do God’s people represent Christ while still giving space for proper disagreement?

 How do we avoid being dragged into the demeaning tittle-tattle that so easily moves from grumbling to character assassination?

 How do we slip the Christlike phrases into conversations with our friends and neighbours?

 The hymn’s lyrics say:

Will you use your voice; will you not sit down
when the multitudes are silent?
Will you make a choice to stand your ground
when the crowds are turning violent?

It was one of those times when the hymn-writer’s craft enabled a congregation to move beyond silence into expressing hope that could not otherwise have been articulated.

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One thought on “Have you heard God’s voice?”

  1. As the writer of this hymn (!) I am hugely encouraged to hear how God is using it to challenge and encourage different congregations and individuals. It’s a personal encouragement to me in a season where I’ve been feeling that my songwriting gifts are not being used while I raise three young children! Thank you Gareth.

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