Thought for the week 9.9.21

Rev Anthony M Jones, Fort Augustus and Glengarry Church of Scotland.

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Words, silence, healing, peace

The prophet Hosea was instructed by God to ‘Take with him words’, as he called him to prayer and penitence.

Throughout history great leaders have exercised wisdom  and are continually called to the negotiating table. The power of words spoken by the right person brings healing and harmony and can even prevent wars from breaking out.

The weight of responsibility laid on the ‘words’ we speak is great indeed. How often have we been in a situation where it has been impossible to stay silent. Then there are other times where we are completely speechless. Sometimes we say too much too soon or, worse perhaps, we let others do the talking for us. The latter is unfortunately often true when we might well have had something very valuable to say.

Strickened, saddened, sorrowing humanity today needs healing words.

‘Apt words have power to assuage the tumours of a troubled mind and are as balm to festered wounds’ (John Milton, Samson Agonistes)

A word spoken at the right time can help remove doubt, minister to anxiety, inspire profound thoughts and bring us peace. The words of Christian vocabulary should always be words of encouragement, assurance, reassurance, forgiveness, acceptance  and always words of healing. Isn’t the voice of conscience so often reminding us where we have gone wrong? The voice of conscience is very often God speaking through us.

‘Lord speak to me that I may speak’. We all need to know when to speak, what to say and what not to say. We need wisdom, we need ‘discernment’. When Christ came into the world, the apostle John proclaimed Him, ‘the Word made flesh’, who ‘dwelt among us’.

As we meet together as families in our homes, week by week at our church services, in our meetings, we call to mind Jesus, who was ‘the healing word’ in action. All of us need to take with us ‘healing words’ on our journey through life. We are thankful also for the times when words do finally escape us because, we can rest in the Word of Life. At those times when we seek rest, refreshment and peace let us remember the words of Jesus.

‘Come to Me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.’ (Matthew 11.28)

‘Peace, I leave with you, not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid’ (John 14.27)

Reverend Anthony M. Jones, F.R.S.A., Parish Minister of Fort Augustus & Glengarry Church of Scotland, Moderator of the Presbytery of Lochaber