By Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline
Click on the image to follow along with our 2021 congregational devotional!
Merry Christmas and happy New Year! This is Pastor Jeff returning to you with the first blog post of 2021. What a joy it is to be able to write that. After an eternity of 2020, I’m looking forward to the brisk pace of 2021. I’m looking at you, vaccines. There’s so much promise in this year, and I’m excited that we can experience it together.
Every week in Advent, I wrote a short blog reflecting on whatever the sermon was from the previous Sunday, and I decided to continue this fun experiment into 2021.
We’re starting this year with a very fun sermon series “Words of Wisdom, Words of Faith,” in which various folks from Covenant are reflecting on words that they chose. This series started with a bang yesterday as Charlie discussed the word “Word,” and he introduced the sermon series with one of my favorite Gospel passages, John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” This is part of the poem that begins the Gospel of John.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."
What a great beginning! It’s so rich in theological depth--God and Jesus (the Word) are one, God and Jesus are distinct, Jesus has been there the whole time, Jesus brings life to all people! AHHH! There’s so much to it that I absolutely love.
Apropos to our sermon series, this passage speaks to not only the importance of words, but on the timing of the words that are used. God’s Word (notice the capital letters, please) has been around for forever, in a very literal sense. God’s Word has been around before time began, but the Word only became flesh and dwelt among us at a very specific time. At a specific time and specific place, when God knew it was most needed, and when God decided it was the fullness of time for the Word to enter the world.
It just goes to show, you can have the best words in the world, but if you don’t use them well, then what’s the point of having them? What words exist inside of you? Do you have a word of compassion waiting to come out and comfort those who mourn? Do you have a word of wisdom dwelling inside of you waiting to help someone puzzle through a difficult problem in their life? Do you have a word of challenge ready to speak to those who seek to do harm to your neighbor? We all have words inside of us. Our job is to nurture those words, bring them to maturity, and then set them loose in the world to do the job that they were always meant to do. God’s Word lived with God since the beginning. Our words live in us. Let’s take our cue from God and make sure we use our words at the right time, to do good things.
I pray that this new year is a blessing to you. I pray that you are a blessing in the new year. I pray that we can find the words to bless each other.
Until next week,