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At the piano recital, the students sat up front. Parents and guests assembled to listen. The students took their turns. Some brought sheet music and scrupulously plunked away, making sure they hit the right notes. Others seemed to have practiced so much that, like a concert pianist, they no longer needed the music. They had internalized the piece. When they played, I could hear them using the notes to convey the composer's intent with their own passion and emotion.

In ancient Rome, written works were almost always read out loud to an audience. The literacy rate in the Roman Empire was only around 10%. Most people absorbed news, ideas, stories and poetry by hearing a human voice, not by reading marks on a page. One expert in ancient texts made this analogy: "Just like sheet music today, ancient manuscripts were seen as a medium that preserved sound and required a performer to study it before it could be presented in a meaningful way" (see Trobisch and Ward, Bringing the Word to Life).

Bible scholars believe that the Gospels and letters of the New Testament are no exception. These documents were written to speak. Paul said, "I have put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read aloud" (1 Thessalonians 5:27). Like sheet music, marks on the page were meant to be heard.

This communication practice reveals two important features of the Christian Faith. First, confessing Jesus is not a private matter. It is a public affair sounded out in the world. Second, trusting Jesus is not merely an intellectual activity. Faith brings a new way of experiencing the world. It affects thoughts, desires, feelings and habits. It "comes from hearing" (Romans 10:17).

Lutheran Hour Ministries doesn't simply distribute printed materials, booklets, and tracts. Printings are important, yet they are all written to speak. We produce audio and video resources that will reach eyes and ears. More importantly, we aim to energize, engage and equip you to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus to reach hearts and minds in your household and community.

This Giving Tuesday, we ask that you would support LHM ministries like these to reach the ears & touch the hearts of thousands of people around the World that need Jesus.

Visit LHM.org/GivingTuesday for more information.

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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