I spend a lot of time dealing with words. My own words written to be spoken, looking at words to be read, words in an email or letter and so on. And if you think about it unless we are called to a life of silence, every one of us will use an awful lot of words every single day, even if it’s just arguing with ourselves.

When I think about words, though I love them, much of the time I can echo the philosopher Winnie the Pooh’s words when he said ‘I am a bear of very little brain, and long words bother me.’

During the last week especially words have been on my mind a bit more as I’ve been thinking about that lovely passage from Isaiah we heard a few moments ago. In those words we heard that the word of God ‘shall not return empty (or as another translation puts it fruitless) but it shall accomplish that which I (God that is) purpose and succeed in the task I gave it.’

I live this vivid and dynamic picture of the word of God going out into the world with a purpose of bringing all into an encounter with God’s love. We can think of that word, as the Eternal Word, the Christ but also the more mundane and ordinary, the words of life.

It seems to me that words are everywhere, inevitably so perhaps, they are how we communicate, but maybe it seems that nowadays there are more words flying about, perhaps it’s something about instant communication through text messaging or emails or through social media.

I came across some information the other day that said there are 1,280 million, users of Facebook, 644 million users of qzone that’s seems to be in the Far East and 255 million users of Twitter. Even if you don’t use any of them you can at least see from those numbers what a powerful tool they are.

Technology has changed the way in which the written word is exchanged for no longer do we rely on letters but on the click of a mouse, pressing send on a mobile phone.

This of course has had some consequences, many people have been hurt when an email has been sent too quickly and we haven’t put as much time or thought into the content of a message as we should have.

More positively this age of instant communication means that sometimes a text message sent at just the right time, telling someone you are thinking of them can be just the thing can be a seed of love.

The church almost inevitably struggles to keep up with this constantly changing world (though our Bishop, Nick, is an avid blogger). Consequently the word that goes out from us can sometimes seem dated and irrelevant, fruitless perhaps for they sometimes don’t seem to accomplish much.

And yet I would want to say, as we turn our gaze a bit more to the Gospel, that a word sown with love can never be fruitless. It might sometimes look as though it is but if God is love and before him nothing is ever wasted then every act, every word of love is of more value than we realise.

‘So shall my word that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me fruitless but it shall accomplish that which I purpose.’

So it seems to me we’re not to worry too much about accomplishing anything much other than faithfully and patiently sowing seeds of love.

Having said that though it doesn’t mean we do nothing. For having sown seeds of love, we strive to fashion here at St. Mary’s the kind of community which is the good soil in which those seeds can flourish.

We are the Body of Christ here. And in our worship and life together we endeavour to sing of the harmony of God and be a place where each one of us can be nurtured and grow.

Listening to our Gospel today we’ll all be able to recall times when we have not understood, when we have not endured or when the cares of the world have choked God’s life in us.

And yet God’s love in us has prevailed that’s why we’re here and part of our story must be the good soil offered by a friend or a community of faith that has sown and re-sown the seed of love and enabled us to grow.

A word sown with love can never be fruitless, via text message, email, facebook or twitter by a card or even face to face.

‘So shall my word that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me fruitless but it shall accomplish that which I purpose.’

So a question to ponder today is who might you need to share a word of love with today?

A long lost friend who has popped up with a friend request on facebook or who you keep meaning to send a text message too because you’ve been thinking of them?

Or closer to home what about the neighbour who is recently bereaved or been unwell or who you don’t even know because you’ve not had the time to say hello?

Sometimes I can feel that the word I try to proclaim doesn’t seem to accomplish much, doesn’t seem to succeed, at least in ways I expect.

If that’s how you sometimes feel too then Isaiah’s prophetic words remind us that wherever we sow the word of love, it will not be fruitless, something will happen for where love is, there God is too.

And where there is God then there is harmony. That’s what Isaiah knew well when he talks of the mountains and the trees bursting into song. So may we never be afraid and doubt Isaiah’s words for a word sown with love can never be fruitless.

‘So shall my word that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me fruitless but it shall accomplish that which I purpose.’