Words Matter

This was written for the Center for Congregational Ethics, an on-line resource for pastors and lay-leaders. This brief devotional outline was based on Psalm 76; Isaiah 60:17-22; and Ephesians 4:25-5:2, from the Revised Common Lectionary, Year C, for November 14, 2022. It is suggested that you read each passage first, as you reflect on the focus verses. 

I am always interested in reading the devotional selections on my birthday, which is today, November 14, most likely to see what special word from God I might discern. But if I’m not careful, it can become an exercise of reading what I want to read, to get the special message I want to hear. Not that different from a fortune cookie or horoscope. It can become fatalism wrapped up as a birthday present, tied with a bow of self-centeredness. Words matter.

Psalm 76 points to judgment and salvation in the power of God. God establishes justice. Everyone, from any life circumstance, will one day stand in awe of the Lord. Verse 11 declares the cautionary word: Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them. 

Isaiah 60:17-22 points to hope and salvation in the promise of peace. The world is made whole as justice and righteousness transform the people of God. Verse 22 admonishes us to be patient: I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly.

Ephesians 4:25-5:2 points to conduct and salvation in our daily relationships. Paul’s guidelines for living just and righteous lives, everywhere every day, empower the witness of the church, one person at a time. Verse 5:1 presents the imperative, Be imitators of God, therefore…

My words matter. I found a simple prayer that often helps me: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord. (Psalm 19:14)

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Our words matter. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

Bro. Darryl

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