Psalm 19 | Deuteronomy 30:11-14. | Romans 10:9-18 | Matthew 4:18-22
I love words. I love playing with words. I love learning new words (and correcting mistaken meanings). I love the complexity and the simplicity of words. I love, and am sometimes frightened by, the power of words: words that heal, words that hurt, words that state truths, words that cast doubt, words that influence, words that concede. I love the paradoxes that words can create; I love the paradox of today’s readings.
The heavens tell the glory of God without words. “Their voice is not heard, yet their voice goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world.”
“The word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart…”
“One must believe with the heart… and confess with the mouth…”
“Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” Jesus called his disciples with words.
In the beginning was the word…
Scripture has been the inspiration for many many musical compositions. As I read or hear the words that have been set to music, I silently sing. But sometimes when I sing, either silently or aloud, the words are in my head. I am singing by rote; I do not hear the words; my heart has not connected. It is only when the words are in my heart as well as my mouth that I can hear them. So when I read today’s psalm, thanks to Haydn I am able to sing “The heavens are telling the glory of God…”, and thanks to the other readings I am able to move toward hearing what the heavens are telling.
I also love silence. “There is no speech, nor are there words.” The word has gone out through all the earth in silence, yet it is heard.
Prayer and meditation are often difficult for me; I become trapped by the words of earth. I hear those words rather than the words of silence. But I do not need the words of earth to know beauty or to feel joy or grief or sadness. I do not need the words of earth to know God, and to know that God is with me. In silence, with no speech and no words, I hear and see and feel the voice that tells the glory of God.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
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