Yesterday at Christ’s Church at Lowhill, we talked about James 3:2-12 and the children learned all about the story of Naomi and Ruth!
Noting the ability of words to hurt or inspire and to influence the life stories of people and communities, James says:
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
We praise God, but belittle people who are made in God’s image. We do it on purpose, and we do it by accident. We premeditate with gossip and slander, and we say stupid things that “just come out.” But God has given us the ability to be encouragers, and to speak life in all situations. It’s not necessarily our natural inclination, but we’re called to cultivate the presence of Christ in our hearts, minds, and spirits. Through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, we can become a family of people whose first inclination is to speak life, even in hard or frustrating situations.
Consider the example of Ruth. After losing her husband, we find Ruth using the power of words to comfort her mother-in-law and stoke the flames of faith. Even though Ruth could have abandoned Naomi and returned to her homeland and people, she pledges love, support, and companionship instead:
Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.
The right words and choices aren’t always easy to muster or find. But the lesson from James and from Ruth is that God has promised us the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives within us. It’s up to us to listen to that still, small voice, and to practice the presence of God in our everyday lives so that we recognize the places God is leading. So that we see people the way God sees people. So that we can make wise decision for our lives and for our families. So that we might together build up the family of God.
We had a great first week of Sunday School and are SO excited to keep going (and growing!) from here. Please join us each week at 9AM. If you’d like to join our Christian Education Committee, we meet again on September 24 at 7PM. We’ll debrief about the first few weeks of Sunday School and talk some exciting ideas for Confirmation and adult education.
Don’t forget: September 30 is our Harvest Home service (our 249th annual Harvest Home service!), and we’re turning Word Communion Sunday on October 7th into an opportunity to invite family, friends, and neighbors as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper with the theme “Open Table, Open House!” Please join us!