Words matter. We are judged by our words. What we say, what we write, helps others inform their opinion of us. If we use Twitter our words can be the other side of the world in a fraction of a second. Words are powerful, they can build up and they can destroy. Journalists have the power to destroy reputations in one article. We have the power to destroy someone' with one cruel remark. First and last words are especially precious and particularly remembered. Most parents will remember proudly the first words of their children. And if we have ever sat at a bedside and heard someone's dying words we are unlikely ever to forget them. We take notice of the first words of Presidents or Prime Ministers and are inspired by the last words of those who face death bravely and honestly.
The bible is the Christians book of words. But whilst we have Jesus' last words from the cross recorded in the Gospels only Mary and Joseph were privileged to hear his first spoken words as a child. We do have his first recorded words at the beginning of his ministry. In John's gospel they are 'Come and See' In Mark they are 'The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news'
Through this Lent I'm going to reflect on a single word each day starting with the word 'Repent' on Ash Wednesday. As I have suggested words matter. But so does silence. There are often far more words in our lives than silence. But we need silence just as much as we need words. It's the punctuation, it gives meaning to our words, it helps us understand our words. Without it things can go very wrong. The 15th March is Global Day for lions, raising awareness of those bred simply to be shot. But if the headline was 'Lions march for justice on .... Rather than 'Lions, march for justice on …' It could give the impression that lions themselves were going to take to the streets with their placards. What a sight that would be! A simple comma can transform a sentence. A simple ten minutes of quiet can transform a busy day. Punctuation matters. Silence matters. So each monday instead of a word to reflect on I am going to say nothing and invite you to as well!
In our Lenten journey this year may we hear the still small voice of God in the silence. Embrace a fresh relationship with Jesus the Word made flesh. And may the Spirit open our hearts and minds to the Living Words of Scripture.
there will a daily reflection and prayer on lynnechittypoetryandprayers.com