Words matter. Some matter more than others, but they matter. Hearing “I love you” for the first time. Saying, “I’m sorry” after a long fight. Listening to the doctor’s words, “There’s no more we can do.” Remembering again the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘’I have a dream.”
Words matter. They give purpose to our existence. Out of the 10,000+ words many of us say each day, words explain our realities and our feelings. Paired with our actions, they demonstrate who we are and what we are about.
Sunday we will hear Jesus’ words about his purpose and existence. In Jesus’ first words in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus proclaims his mission using the words of the prophet Isaiah. As David Lose says, “This is Jesus’ inaugural address.”
Luke 4 reads, “Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee and a report about him spread throughout all the surrounding country… ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’” (Luke 4: 14, 18-19).
For us, these words point to God and to promise. They proclaim the Good News in a world where the poor, the captives, the blind and oppressed are cast out. They show us that no matter how broken we are, that isn’t the end of the story. No matter how empty our words and actions might be, our lives have purpose. No matter how many times we mess up, there is hope in Jesus Christ, the one who came to save, redeem and set us free.
Today, let us wonder and pray how our words, our lives are changed by the proclamation of Jesus’ words. Which words of the world do you listen to? Which words are the ones on your lips? Which words do you use to describe the purpose to your existence?
My prayer today is that you would know that your words matter. My challenge is that we would all make a conscientious effort for them to be guided by Jesus’ words. May our words be ones of grace and hope, instead of negativity and despair, and may they reflect the light of God in all we do.