God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sermon on the Mount, Part 4, Matthew 5:33-37

Words Matter.  For those of you who were not popular in school, you know words matter.  You have you hidden story of trauma where someone said or did something to leave you an outsider, frowned upon, laughed at.  Words matter.  They can wound and leaves scars for a lifetime.  Words matter.  If you tell a lie long enough people believe it's the truth.  Take as a current example belief that President Obama is a Muslim. Not that anyone should care what faith he practices or believe that we in the United States could have a Muslim President, but parts of the media world have said or implied it so often that Barak Obama is Muslim that people believe contrary to what President Obama has said publicly in books, speeches, and when asked questions. Here is a excerpt of his words of his own conversion from the speech he gave to The United Church of Christ General Synod:

        So one Sunday, I put on one of the few clean jackets I had, and went over to Trinity United Church of Christ on 95th Street on the South Side of Chicago. And I heard Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright deliver a sermon called “The Audacity of Hope.” And during the course of that sermon, he introduced me to someone named Jesus Christ. I learned that my sins could be redeemed. I learned that those things I was too weak to accomplish myself, He would accomplish with me if I placed my trust in Him. And in time, I came to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death, but rather as an active, palpable agent in the world and in my own life
       It was because of these new found understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity one day and affirm my Christian faith. It came about as a choice, and not an epiphany. I didn’t fall out in church, as folks sometimes do. The questions I had didn’t magically disappear. The skeptical bent of my mind didn’t suddenly vanish. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side, I felt I heard God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth and carrying out His works.
Words matter, as Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount:
"And don't say anything you don't mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, 'I'll pray for you,' and never doing it, or saying, 'God be with you,' and not meaning it. You don't make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say 'yes' and 'no.' When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. Matthew 5:33-37. The Message
Words matter.  Let you yes be yes and your no be no.  Be people of integrity.  Speak words that you know to be true.  Imagine the world the Sermon on the Mount envisions for a us.  A world where peoples words are true and enough, because they are speaking from the heart and speaking into the coming Kingdom of God.

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