Friday, May 12, 2017

Speaking God's Word

Today's reflection on the Daily Texts:

Hear, you peoples, all of you; listen, O earth, and all that is in it; and let the Lord God be a witness against you. - Micah 1:2

Jesus Christ says, "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation." - Mark 16:15

Two-year reading texts: Psalm 63; Proverbs 5; 1 Corinthians 13:8-14:5

Today's texts reflect Law and Gospel, listening and speaking, reflecting and acting. In all of these pairs, both parts are important.

Law is God's NO, calling us out when we're on the wrong track. Gospel is God's YES, calling us back into relationship with God because Jesus has reconciled us all to God and God's ways.

Listening is how we receive God's life-giving word into our own lives. Speaking the same word is how we expand that life by communicating it to others.

Reflecting is time spent in stillness pondering, meditating, praying, and deciding about God's word. Acting is time spent in motion moving, creating, lifting, sharing the good news.

Psalm 63 expresses joy in God's help, and seeks to make that help known: "Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you." The book of Proverbs keeps going back and forth between the blessings of a life lived God's way and the hardships of a false life: "My child, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, so that you may hold on to prudence, and your lips may guard knowledge." Paul encourages speech that passes on the grace of God's words to others: "Those who prophesy speak to other people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation."

There are many reminders today that a life lived with God is filled with truth, life, health, and contentment, as opposed to a life of lonely selfishness that breaks down instead of building up. Of course not every moment of a life lived with God is pleasant and comfortable. Existence always comes with friction and challenge. But to have God with us is a great help in navigating the struggles of life, and God's promises of life are for all people, in all places, for all time.

God's word communicates God's presence directly into our lives. May we receive it and reflect on it, and take action for ourselves and others. May we appreciate both Law and Gospel. May we listen and hear God's word. And may we speak the same word to the people we encounter throughout life.

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