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Listening to the Groans

A Spirituality for Ministry and Mission

by Trevor Hudson, Stephen D. Bryant

For we know that the whole cre­ation groans and labors… (Romans 8:22)

A short but pow­er­ful dis­course, Lis­ten­ing to the Groans rejects a spir­i­tu­al­i­ty that’s inward, per­son­al and indi­vid­ual for one that’s faith­ful­ly atten­tive, active and com­pas­sion­ate in society.

Sad­ly, many Chris­tians talk more than lis­ten. The dan­ger is that those who have shut out their neigh­bor may also shut out God — los­ing in the process a chance to par­tic­i­pate in God’s dream of mend­ing a bro­ken world.

For God so loved the world…so God must care about what hap­pens in it.

Lis­ten­ing to the groans…is the tick­et to evan­ge­lism, heal­ing, pas­toral care, com­mu­ni­ty build­ing, peace­mak­ing and so much more,” the authors write. As we lis­ten we find our­selves able to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength and to love our neigh­bors as ourselves.”

Hud­son and Bryant chal­lenge Christ-fol­low­ers to be vul­ner­a­ble enough to lis­ten to the groans of cre­ation, to be still enough to hear the groans with­in our­selves, and to find hope and strength for the jour­ney by rely­ing on the Holy Spir­it. They breathe new life into famil­iar scrip­ture to pro­pel laity, cler­gy, schol­ars and mys­tics to be trans­formed to a deep­er faithfulness.

Are you ready to real­ly lis­ten and engage? A more equi­table, com­pas­sion­ate and just soci­ety won’t hap­pen if we remain the same and con­tin­ue life as usu­al.
Illus­trat­ed with char­coal draw­ings by Jan L. Richardson.

Lis­ten­ing to the Groans also includes a retreat mod­el for group study and action.


About the Authors