Teach me to listen, Lord.

Teach me to pray, Lord.

Teach me to learn, Lord.

Teach me to help others, Lord.

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Standing above all of the people, Ezra the scribe opened the scroll in the sight of all of the people. And as he opened it, all of the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all of the people answered, “Amen! Amen!” while raising their hands. Then they bowed down and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Nehemiah 8:5-6

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A word that we use a lot in church is “amen.” Do you know what it means?

It comes from a Hebrew verb, aman, which means to confirm, support, or uphold. In English, it’s an exclamation that means “let it be.”

After learning this several years ago, I often insert the word “let it be” anytime I hear an “amen” in a song or at the end of the prayer. To say it really means to affirm what has already been said or done.

In the case of Ezra and the people of Israel gathered in Jerusalem, the opening of the scripture lead them to say “Amen! Amen!”

They’d been without access to scripture and a teacher of scripture for so very long that to have it back in their lives was a moment of the purest joy. What else could they say but “let it be”?

Like them, one of our best responses to scripture is a strong amen, for to say amen is a commitment to practice what we heard.

Elizabeth Evans Hagan

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Lord, you are teaching me all the time. Teach me to be a doer of the word, not just a hearer only. Let it be!

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God’s grace and peace offers us many opportunities to learn and serve.

As you go, be open to the Spirit!

Elizabeth Evans Hagan

Rev. Elizabeth Evans Hagan is an interim pastor serving churches in short-term positions in the Washington, DC area. She loves blogging over at Preacher on the Plaza, cheering on her alma mater, Duke, in basketball, and collecting airline miles with her husband Kevin. She is proud to have been the first pastor of Passportkids! in 2004.

Teach Me to Stop and Listen

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