Letting the Words Speak for Themselves
December 14, 2022
By Jo Wiersema
Midweek Musings is a weekly Covenant blog with a variety of authors and a variety of topics.
It was a week, y’all. Charlie mentioned it on Sunday at the 11am service, but it was a week. It was busy, because like any good student, I waited until the end of the semester to pull it all together. I spent all of Thursday and Saturday finishing all my assignments for the semester. I wrote something around 6,000 words across all my assignments and sermon writing.
But, at 8:00pm on Saturday night, I turned in my last paper for this wild and exciting semester. Monday morning, I woke up and opened the YouVersion app on my phone, like I do most days, to see the Bible verse of the day. It was Isaiah 55:11 (MSG):
“So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.”
If you open your eyes, ears, and heart to scripture, sometimes the right words just fall into your lap at the right time.
When you’ve written the papers, and preached the sermon, and now you’re writing the blog, where do those words go? You send so many words out in so many ways. You put out words into social media posts, on the phone with your loved ones, in a whispered prayer late at night. Once these words have left you, you have no control.
I live in a digital world for my schooling. My papers are a collection of zeros and ones that live on the internet for my professors to read and review. Once I press the submit button on my assignments, I don’t have a lot of control over how it is received.
But that’s where Scripture comes in, right? Where Isaiah calls us to let it go. The words have come out of my mouth and are now off to do their mission.
The thing about #MidweekMusings and sermons and my exegesis papers is that I don’t have the exact same life experiences as you. I don’t know how you experience Hocus Pocus, or Godspell, or Hagar’s narrative. I can’t control how you receive my words if you’re on a plane or waiting to pick up your kid or it’s 3 am and you can’t sleep. I can’t control if you don’t understand my stream of consciousness or if the turn of phrase pulls on the exact right heart string.
But this is where the whole God thing comes in. I trust that the meditations of my heart come forth in words that are meaningful to you. Maybe not today, but someday, these words will matter to someone and come forth at a time they need.
Before I preach, I always say the same prayer: “Lord, if you can speak through the mouth of an ass, I ask that you can speak through me today.” (I’m not sure if I’m allowed to type “ass” in this blog, but oh well)
In Numbers 22:28, God speaks through the mouth of a donkey. It’s weird, it’s comical, it doesn’t feel Biblical, but it’s there. I read this when my words feel wrong, or all my ideas are a little jumbled, I look at this passage and realize that God has done more magnificent things. God has worked through a lowly donkey to get Their message across, so hopefully I can also be a vessel.
As we round the finish line to the end of 2022, I want to share some metrics with you all today. I’ve been writing this blog for 9 months (with help from Derek, Bailey, Melissa, and Clara)! Personally, I’ve written 26 blogs, this blog makes 27. Including this blog, we’re up to about 16,000 words.
16,000 words is more than the English words in the Book of Mark.
All of this isn’t to just toot my own horn. It’s to share that words matter, and scripture matters and it all matters. Your own words matter. Never let anyone tell you that the words of your mouth and your heart don’t matter. Because God calls us to proclaim the Good News, but also the news of the messy world and the meditations of our hearts and the heartbreak of our own lives. I don’t care if you type, or use American Sign Language, or speak out, but we are called to be in communication with each other and a God who listen and loves.
So, I ask that the words go out to do what they are meant to do. I don’t know exactly what that is, but those words are to stay out and about in the world and complete the assignment I gave them. Thank you, as always, for listening.
Blessings this day and always,