Day 18 of Lent

Have you ever wondered why people sing in the shower?  Well... I know why I do, even if it isn't very often.

Because I sound so amazing.  ...

The soothing sound of running water... the feeling of hot water on a cool morning.  It'll make you sing out of pure joy.  And because of the reflective hard surfaces of the tile make your voice sound amazing.  Really.  The resonance makes your voice sound more full.  It's a mini-echo chamber.

You know what an echo chamber is?  Caves can be echo chambers.  Medieval cathedrals are echo chambers.   Thats why those monks sound awesome - it amplifies the sound.

Nowadays though, unless you are in the audio/visual business, you might have heard the term with regards to our media in America.  Figurative, not literal, echo chambers are all around us!

There are some positive implications to the term really.  It feels great to hear your own voice echo back at you.  It validates your position and encourages you in it.  It can give polish or increased depth to perception.

But the negative should be obvious as well.  Echo chambers dampen voices besides my own.  They can blow something out of proportion.  They can give excessive pride.  They can simplify things to the point of glossing over complexities.  People grow complacent and soft inside echo chambers.

Used as an expression in our society echo chambers are to be avoided.

We always accuse our enemies of existing in echo chambers.  But it's worth asking if we are in echo chambers.  The only echo chamber that is acceptable is one that reverberates God's voice.

Let us not look for other people to accuse being in echo chambers.  Let us ask if we - those who call on Jesus' name - are living in echo chambers that are not echoing God's voice.  But we love our echo chambers.  We abhor those who don't echo God's voice and love those who do.  We are taught from an early age that "birds of a feather flock together" and this means you should only associate with those who say and do the things that "echo" God's voice.  I love this approach.  There is only one problem: Jesus was his own echo chamber.

One of the biggest knocks on Jesus' ministry was that he spent too much time with sinners.  Sinners!  Those who (usually in the Jewish sense) denied being part of "God's" echo chamber - the Temple.

Yes, Jesus had twelve great guys to hang out with - but they weren't exactly good at saying back to Jesus what he told them.  They didn't hear what they wanted to hear from Jesus.  They weren't encouraging him in his ministry (Peter/satan/rebuke/etc).  It wasn't until he was resurrected that they found the strength and courage to not need their own echo chambers.

Jesus was a master at speaking to people trapped in their echo chambers (Pharisees, Methodists, whatever).  That is why he came, after all, to save us from what holds us back.

Listen to a voice not your own once in a while.  Hear a different perspective.  Appreciate what others have to say.  Some in this world have no voice.  This is because no one cares what they have to say - not because God didn't give them a voice.

Speak a word of truth into the echo chambers of the world.  The greatest truth we (as followers of Christ) have to offer is that there is a God who loves us.  Jesus is the son of God and reveals to us the Father's love.