Sunday, December 17
God's Word with Purpose
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” So, goes the adage. Not true. There is no doubt words can be incredibly hurtful.
“I have a dream…” ~Martin Luther King, Jr. “Four score, and seven years ago…” ~Abraham Lincoln. “Be the change you want to see in the world…” ~Ghandi. Some words have the power to transform the world for the better.
“I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” ~Adolf Hitler. Some words have the power to transform the world for the worst.
God’s words have the power to transform the world eternally. God promises milk and wine without price – a restoration of the people of Israel from exile. The promises held in God’s words were hope for a broken and hopeless people. God acknowledges that people may not have the capacity to understand God’s ways, but that God’s ways are good and in them there is life.
Most importantly, God’s words are never empty. God’s words go out into the world, where they are nourished and grow; they return to God full, having accomplished God’s purposes.
We are charged with a tremendous responsibility concerning God’s words. We cannot use God’s words or God’s Word to beat people down, to justify war, to prove a position, or to keep people in poverty. God’s words and God’s Word must be spoken with tenderness and love, with power and justice, with thought and meaning. We can use God’s words to change the world for the better. For acceptance, for justice, for tolerance, for communicating, for peace, for the uplifting of humanity, for love.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Isaiah 55:1-11
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.
Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.