Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Ephesians 4:11-16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
The call of scripture is to “speak the truth in love.”
One of the amazing claims of the Bible’s account of creation is that humans as well as all of life were created by God’s word. God spoke and things were created. God’s word stirred life into being.
The Bible also maintains that we are to be co-creators of our history with God, having significant influence over our time on this earth. Our words, then, help create our lives. Our words have a part of us in them. They tell people who we are. Words take on a life of their own. They say something about who we are and how we live and our attitude toward others and even ourselves.
The beginning of the gospel of John, in speaking about Jesus, says that in In the beginning was the Word and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth. We can think about that in another way: words do have a tendency to become flesh and dwell among us. When our language is full of virtue and nobility, those words move us closer to the gentleness of spirit by which we become fully human. Our words become flesh.
The letter of James says that the tongue can be used for blessing and cursing, for sharing God’s love or for sharing rumors, for telling others about the joy and peace found in the faith or for telling others about someone else’s problems. The tongue can be used for starting raging, destructive, killing forest fires or for starting fires of love which warm and give life to those gathered around them. The tongue is a tremendously powerful tool. May God tame it—that we may always speak the truth in love.
A good question for us to ask is simply this: What words will become flesh—will take on a life of their own—because of me?
A good prayer to pray is found in Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster