A word sown with love can never be fruitless

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.

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The Reality of Sin and the Invitation to Dance

‘We played the flute for you but you did not dance.’ 

Dolly Parton invited those who heard her at Glastonbury to dance last Sunday and so they did for she was front page news in most of the newspapers last Monday.

This morning however Jesus speaks of a different kind of dance, a dance he invites those who hear his word to share in. They refuse, dismissing his dancing, eating and drinking as the symptoms of a glutton and a drunkard.

I suppose this reminds us how easy it is for us to chunter at another’s celebration. Think of that party next door that goes on for too long, all of us, quite understandably sometimes can be party poopers.

Sin though is what Paul in our first reading is identifying as the party pooper in our lives. That which can hinder our dancing, shield our ears from the tune Christ is playing for us, at least for a time.

But how might we describe sin, that word to describe that which we’re all acquainted with. In simple terms sin is about choice, when we by our words and actions turn away from the source of life and love.

And contrary to what we might sometimes think when we read some of his other writing, Paul was well acquainted with sin.

So his words for us this morning can be reassuring, we all know something of what he writes ‘I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate… I can will what is right but I cannot do it.’ 

Any of that sound familiar?

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