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By Lois Parker Edstrom
Draw a large exclamation point on poster board or a blackboard, if available.
I love learning new things. How about you? Doesn’t it seem exciting to learn something you didn’t know before?
Have you ever thought about how you learn? You gather new information by using your senses. You see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. All of those ways of using your body give you clues about the world around you.
When you talk, you are not gathering new information; you are only saying what you already know. It is when we listen that we learn.
You may remember your teacher saying, “Listen!” The teacher is trying to get your attention so you can hear, and perhaps learn, something new. A coach may say, “Listen up!” The coach wants you to hear his suggestions and what the next play may be.
The Bible helps us understand the importance of listening. Jesus, with Peter, James, and John, went to a high mountain where they were apart from other people. While they were there “a cloud came, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son. Listen to him'” (9:7).
This Bible story suggests that God spoke to Peter, James, and John, urging them to listen to Jesus. Why do you suppose this happened? It was important that the three disciples listen carefully to what Jesus had to say so they could hear what he wanted to teach them; so they could gather new information and learn something new.
God’s words, “listen to him” are followed by an exclamation point. When you are reading or looking through books have you come across that mark? (Show example of exclamation point.) An exclamation point means that what is being said is felt very strongly and is of great importance – almost like a command.
This Bible story reminds us to take time to listen – to parents, teachers, coaches, things in nature such as wind, rain, waves, bird song, and especially to God’s Spirit within us. Listen! It is how we learn.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2009, Richard Niell Donovan