“Incline your ear”


“Incline your ear, and come unto me” (Responsive Reading 3). Fulfilling this “Come unto me” requires humility, reverential, lowly hearing (inclining my ear), unconditional willingness to hear what God is saying to me, that is, to hear only those thoughts that are in harmony with God’s best for me, performing my office as porter and shutting out all unhealthy thoughts and fears (SH 392:27-30), be they shouted or whispered, knowing that with true humility comes grace and courage to hold to the truth, to obey it.

In the Bible, the first instance of disobedient hearing — hearing proudly — is found in the allegory of Eve passively listening to the serpent’s whispered, grandiose, 3-fold promise: “your eyes shall be opened, ye shall be as gods, ye shall know good and evil.”

Isaiah 30:10-11 offers a much more combative example of hearing proudly: “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”

Then there is the noteworthy example of hearing in a wimpy way: multitudes of the army of Israel all feeding off one another’s faintheartedness, cowering before mesmeric Goliath’s unwhispered, bombastic “Come to me” (1 Sam. 17:44) — magnifying every detail of every threat, inclining their ears to each one as though it were an irrevocable edict of God.

Finally, there is the still, small voice of Christ’s “Come unto me . . . for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29). And the only way I can fulfill this “Come to me” is to incline my ear more and more every day in more and more unqualified reflection of Christ’s stillness, meekness, lowliness.

The Hebrew word for “incline” here also means “to stretch:” willingness to stretch myself, to grow farther beyond mortally mapped boundaries of thought, each day farther than the last; stretching my ability to strive for broader and deeper awareness of “the facts of being” (SH 323:2-3), line upon line precept upon precept; to be more vigilant and watchful in filtering out all the gate-crashers clamoring at the door of thought, allowing nothing to enter except Mind’s “by-invitation-only” guests, which is the subject of this Bible Lesson: thought unconfined, thought at one with Mind.

“Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory” (SH 323:10-12).

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