This one-part Bible study is based on the song “Headphones” by Jars of Clay and discusses both the ways we silence out others and ignore their needs and the ways we silence God’s Word in our lives
Topics: Music, Relationships
Download a PDF of the Bible study With My Headphones On.
Who here listens to music? (Most likely everyone)
What types of music do you like? (no wrong answers, just an ice-breaker)
How do you listen to music? (stereo at home, radio in car, iPod & headphones everywhere…)
Do you listen to music in public places? If so, what kinds of places? (bus, mall, coffee shop…)
Do you see others doing the same? (of course)
What are you doing/thinking while listening to music? (nothing, escaping/relaxing, running, working out , studying…)
What do you think they are doing/thinking? (probably the same)
Do we talk to people with headphones on? (No)
Why not? (privacy, don’t want to disturb…)
- What’s this song about?
- Literally (not listening to the bad news on TV, not listening to other people, seeing someone else do the same)
- Figuratively (shutting other people out, escaping and being in seclusion)
- How does this relate to our lives? (we sometimes want to get away and escape from the world)
- How do we take our headphones off? (communicate with others, have authentic relationships/friendships, be in community with others…)
- Can we take off others’ headphones? (yes)
- What does that look like? (reach out to others, be kind/friendly…)
- Read Acts 8:26-40 (Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch)
Who had “headphones,” and who took them off? (Eunuch had “headphones,” Philip took them off)
How? (simply reaching out and offering to help)
Wouldn’t it have been easier for Philip to ignore the eunuch?
What would’ve happened? (the eunuch would have remained confused and not believed in Jesus)
What was the result? (the eunuch believed and was baptized)
How is this a model for us? (a simple act of caring can change a life. Philip didn’t slowly and reluctantly approach the chariot. He ran.)
Let’s look at this in a different way. Having been baptized and having heard some of God’s Word, do you have headphones on when His Word is being read and preached? (Yes!) Should you have? (No!) How do we get them off? (Be at Divine Service; be engaged at Divine Service; listen to God’s Word as the word of life you know it is! Set aside time to turn off the noise and put away the phone and get into God’s Word, and get into it. Get your Pastor or parents to help you as your personal Philip when you can’t get the headphones off yourself!) Open your ears to hear, first Christ’s word to you: “You are baptized! You are forgiven! You are mine!” and then the often quiet or even unspoken question of your neighbor, about your Lord, ‘What does this mean?'”
God’s Word to us contains Law and Gospel, and we tend to have headphones on for both. We (according to the sinful flesh) don’t want to hear about our sins, even though they are destroying our lives and our neighbors’ lives; we don’t want to hear about forgiveness because we’d rather go on thinking we did it right ourselves. We need to be listening to both, and hearing clearly.
What are some other examples of headphones being removed? (Saul-Ananias, Jesus-Zacchaeus, many others)
My challenge for you this week is to take off your headphones. Don’t hide or hold back. Hear God’s Word to you, then reach out to others, who may be hurting. Be open to others who want to help you. Show love like Philip showed to the eunuch, and like Jesus shows to us.