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Words - Monday Musing, May 31, 2021

Monday Musing, May 31, 2021

Dear Church,

Words. The words we write or speak to others can have a lasting impact, either positively or negatively. Words have power so when used in the wrong way it can be devastating. It is said that we should choose our words wisely before speaking. We read in scripture: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

As a community of faith, we rely heavily on words of our faith – written as well as spoken. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” These words comprising the last verse of Psalm 19 are often the first words uttered by a preacher prior to delivering a sermon. Retired seminary professor, Rev. Dr. Mary Luti, has said that she doesn’t like it when ministers say this prayer at the start of the sermon. Luti said it feels that the prayer focuses more on the minister, jokingly suggesting perhaps it is the congregation who needs to be prayed over for what they are about to hear from the minister!

Words are important. Words matter. What our congregation says matters to those outside this community of faith. Our words matter to the person who is not quite ready to give up on the church, having never learned that asking questions is not only okay, it’s encouraged. Our words matter to the families who will be blessed by our words and what we and our community of faith does in the wider community. Our words matter to the people who did not know a church could be like this – that a community of faith could possibly embrace them no matter where they are on their life’s journey. Our words are what differentiate us and our congregation from a country club or a community center. Our words will transform our congregation into a community of faith gathered to serve in the name of Jesus Christ here in this place.

This is my fifty-third Monday Musing since starting in ministry at The Federated Church of Orleans. I pray that my words have been faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we celebrate our one-year anniversary together, having endured the hardships of a global pandemic, may the words yet written or uttered say and do what is acceptable to God, because God, as Psalm 19 makes clear, does not keep silent. Yes, words are important. Words matter. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” See you in church!




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