From the Pastor …
Here you will find notes from Rev. Laura Bachmann from the weekly email blasts and from our monthly Harbinger newsletter.
Choosing Our Words
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
This week’s lectionary includes Psalm 19 which celebrates how God’s creation proclaims God’s glory in every silent detail of its sweeping beauty. The Psalm goes on to extol God’s law, which teaches us how to live, and ends with the verse above. You may recognize it as one often prayed by preachers before they start their sermons, but I think it also offers a wonderful way for us to start and center our days. The world we inhabit in these chaotic times contains so very many words rising up around us, competing against each other as they demand our attention. The news we read uses words to shape our understanding and perspective of events in our community and in our world. The local gossips use words to influence how we view our neighbor. The union organizer speaks to promote change and the activist cries out for justice. We, in turn, speak our own words into the lives around us. As followers of Jesus, how do we make our way with integrity and faith through a thicket of often contradictory ideas that invite us to choose daily between life and death, building up and tearing down, offering love and spreading hate? What would happen if we sincerely prayed the words of Psalm 19 above as we began each day? This week, let us pledge to wait a beat before reacting or speaking, asking God to guide our responses and lend us wisdom so that we can follow God’s law in how we hear and proclaim the words we encounter each day. Let us ask ourselves, how can we use words to act out God’s shalom for our world.
Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
James 2:17 (The Message)
This week, following up on last Sunday’s call to be doers of the word, James goes even further, telling us that faith without works is dead. Or, as Eugene Peterson puts it, God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense. Clearly, James is inviting us into an embodied faith. A faith that breathes in God’s Spirit and can only exhale an active ministry that lives out God’s commandments to love God and love neighbor. As we study our Bible, as we observe how Jesus lives in our world, as we invite the Holy Spirit to inspire our steps, we must learn not only the language of faith but the practice of it too. The natural outcome of a growing faith is an overflowing of the Spirit that results in lives that actively seek to promote God’s priorities, to speak God’s prophetic truth, to enact God’s boundless love in our communities. As partners in the work, small parts of the body of Christ in the world, we are called to be
doers of the word, practitioners of God-acts that release the prisoner, free the oppressed and bring sight to the blind. This week, as we journey through our days, let us be on the lookout for places where we can engage in God-acts that mirror our beliefs and bring new life to God’s creation.
© 2021 Rev. Laura Bachmann
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