I have always been amazed at how words can move us. They can make us laugh or they can make us cry. I loved English classes in high school and would have pursued teaching if I would have been able to afford it. I love the way people can use their words to move people. I loved the great writers from Shakespeare to Robert Frost, from Jonathan Swift to Emily Dickenson. In High School we were given an assignment to write a satirical story. My subject was thinly veiled racism. A group of us compared essays prior to handing them in and they all agreed that mine was the best. I had captured (according to others) the aim of the assignment. When the papers were returned mine had received the lowest grade among my friends, probably a B minus. This was a low grade for me in an English class especially. I wondered what I had done wrong and was going to ask the teacher but as I approached her it dawned on me. She did not like my subject. I became more careful about expressing my opinions. I realized that I would not change hearts especially those in charge of my grades and my future. I am not proud of that decision. I posted a video this week of a woman speaker asking an audience of women if they would be willing to trade places with a person of color in this country and to stand if they were willing. No one stood. She asked them again and still no one stood. She then told them the obvious conclusion was that they knew what was happening and were doing nothing to stop it. Would George Floyd have died with a policeman’s knee on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds if he had been white? Would he have died calling for his dead mama and saying “I can’t breathe” if he had been white? Would he have died violently for a non-violent crime if he had been white? Was he being subdued or was he being subjugated? I hope that his death will have meaning, that a crime so horrific will bring about change, that he will be in his heavenly home where he will be loved and accepted for who he is and not judged unfairly and unjustly.
We all know someone who moved people with his words. Jesus used his words to accomplish his mission. Sometimes he used miracles, and in the end, he used himself. When he used his words, when people listened, he moved mountains.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.John 15:7
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.John 15:12
Lord, we ask that you be with us, that we be led by your words given to us by your Son. Be with our country, a country in turmoil from a Pandemic to racial unrest to political turmoil. Be with those who grieve, those who are ill, those who seek justice. Be with our Pastor, bless his ministry, be with him and his family. Be with our staff and leaders, give them wisdom and strength. Be with us when we start up church again, may we not forget that we are the church and we are the hands and feet of Christ. We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen