“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” The idiom once was taught to children as a way to disarm hurtful or spiteful words. But if you’re over 7 or 8 years old you probably know that the saying just isn’t always true. In fact, today we often hear more about the power of our words than in previous eras. There are classes on self-affirmation using words. There are seminars on overcoming the hurtful effects of words harshly spoken. There are therapist offices filled with individuals seeking to deal and cope with the destructive power of words many have encountered. To be honest we all have known the power of a word of praise in a moment of discouragement or a word of criticism in the midst of joy.
Words do indeed have power.
Often the power of the words is directly linked to the source of those words – the one who writes or speaks those words. Why then should we be surprised by the effect of regular engagement with the words of our Creator? He created by His Word (Genesis 1); He came into this world as the Word (John 1:1); He saves us by the power of His Word (Romans 1:16); HE sustains creation by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).
It is no wonder that the pattern of the church in the New Testament and the faithful church for the past 2 millennia has been the centrality of the preaching of the Word in our weekly service gatherings. This Sunday and each Sunday as we gather for the regular Lord’s Day worship let us come expecting and ready to engage with and respond to the Word o christ as we read, sing, pray, and preach the Word of God!