May 11 Weekly Meditation
..it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles. -Matthew 15:11
If I had a nickel for every time someone gave me a dictionary, I'd have TWO nickels. I know that doesn't sound like a lot but isn't it funny that it has happened twice.
One was a gift from a member of the congregation early in my ministry. Pat was an English teacher and when she gave it to me, she told me she was tired of correcting the spelling in my newsletter articles. It still sits on a shelf near my desk in my office and I do still use it.
The other dictionary was a gift from a co-worker and friend from back when I worked for an auctioneer in high school and college. Both Jean and I admired this 1898 New Century Dictionary when it came in for auction. It had been re-covered (poorly) but the pages inside were pristine, including several pages in full color. What made it most interesting to both of us was its size. From cover to cover, it measures about 12 inches thick and weighs around 20 pounds. This is NOT a pocket-sized dictionary!
While I admired the dictionary, I was not going to bid on it. I was a poor high school kid about to head off for college. And I didn't think much of it when Jean outbid everyone and bought it. Little did I know she had a plan. At my graduation party a few months later, here comes Jean lugging that dictionary as my graduation gift. She told me, "This way you'll never run out of words." That was even before I planned to become a minister. Perhaps she knew something I did not.
Both Pat and Jean have passed away. I often think of them when I look at those dictionaries. Those dictionaries also remind me that words matter. What we say to one another matters. How we talk about others matters. Our words can build up or they can tear down. Words matter.
After Jesus tells the crowd that it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles, he goes on to say, "But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart." Our words do more than communicate our thoughts or intentions. They also communicate what is in our heart.
The words that come out of our mouths are a reflection of what is in our hearts. We need to listen carefully to the words we use and ensure that they are words of love, peace, kindness, and compassion. If you had a nickel for all those kinds of words that came out of your mouth today, how many nickels would you have?
Worship This Week
Sunday, 10am, in the sanctuary & Facebook Live
If you join us in-person, you must wear a mask and follow safe distancing.
If you are not well or have been exposed to someone with the corona virus, please watch from home.
Begins June 6, 9:00am in the Peace Garden
In case of rain worship will be in the sanctuary
Keep In Prayer:
Rick Graham, Marvin Homan, Sherry Williams, Sherry's friend Cheryl, Mary Wallen, Alvin Shelley, Dee Kuhlman,
Kathy Sanders' mother & brother
Our shut-ins: Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne, Bernie Reynolds