Pastor’s Message from the Rev. David M. Deal
WORDS MATTER !!! Words can be used to affirm, lift up, encourage, support, console – as in “I love you,” “I hear you,” “I will be here for you.” Words can also be used to reject, bully, put down, exclude, dehumanize – as in “Go back to where you came from,” “I don’t want to associate with your kind,” “You’re worthless.”
Our world today – its tribes, nations, ethnic groups, and political leaders – is too often featuring words that hurt, words that produce violence, even death. But as Children of God, members of the Body of Christ, we are called to speak words of welcome, acceptance, healing, hope, and unity. Every one of us right now is called to push back against the words we hear or see online and on TV.
Our national and synodical church leaders are calling on us to speak words of love, befitting God’s Beloved Community. OUR words can matter as we encounter hurtful words from family, friends, neighbors, work associates, even from other Christians.
St. Paul wrote in the Book of Galations:
“…all of you are God’s sons and daughters in union with Christ Jesus. You were baptized into union with Christ, and now you are clothed, so to speak, with the life of Christ himself. So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free, between men and women. You are all one in union with Christ Jesus.” Galations 3:26-28; Today’s English Version.
It follows that there are no “illegal aliens” (a legal term, but not a human one), there are no people associated with an “infestation” of our communities. White and Brown and Black and Yellow and Red are all our brothers and sisters in Christ, our fellow Children of God. Join me at this critical time in speaking words that heal and build up. Our words will matter!