When Frederich Buechner was preaching one of his first sermons to a group of disinterested young people, he challenged them to avoid hearing only what they expect to hear. What are some ways that you think we can open our ears to hear the Scriptures afresh? Do you have any stories from your own life when a particular passage struck you in a new or powerful way as you heard it afresh?
And I think that what most people expect to hear read from the Bible is an edifying story, an uplifting thought, a moral lesson—something elevating, obvious, and boring. So that is exactly what very often they do hear. Only that is too bad because if you really listen—and maybe you have to forget that it is the Bible being read and a minister who is reading it—there is no telling what you might hear.