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March 8th: The Shema : Listen, part 1 -- Dr. Tim Mackie (

This week, we’re looking at an important biblical prayer shared by Jews and Christians throughout history called The Shema.  The Hebrew word “shema,”means to listen but it’s more than that. Shema is an urgent call to not only hear Yahweh with our ears but to also respond to him with our whole lives. In the pages of the Bible, we see how Yahweh is the one who hears and responds to the cries of the oppressed.

As we take time to truly listen to him, we observe his empathy and justice towards the afflicted, changing how we think, feel, and act.



Read and Discuss


Video Question 1: What stood out to you about what the word “listen” means in the Hebrew Bible?

Video Question 2: How is this different from or similar to how you usually use the word?


Read Deuteronomy 6:1-9

The Shema is a call to listen and respond to the truth that Yahweh is the one true God, and the appropriate response is to love Yahweh with all of our being. Knowing and loving God is how we can experience the fullness of life. And when we align our hearts with God’s, we will naturally care about the things he cares about and fulfill our roles as his partners in bringing about human flourishing on the earth.


Question 1: How would you describe Yahweh’s character? What do you believe Yahweh cares about? Take a moment now to admire him for who he is and all he loves.


Question 2: It’s easy to forget about who Yahweh is and what he cares about as we go about daily life. Read Deuteronomy 6:7-9 again. What are some ways you can remind yourself of who Yahweh is on a daily basis?


Question 3: How do you think Yahweh feels about current events? How might those with different perspectives and experiences than you feel about current events? How can you listen to their stories this week?

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