Have you ever had a tongue-lashing that you will never forget? Most of us have. Isn't "tongue-lashing" a colorful and very descriptive expression? Whips lash. They cut through the skin, opening deep wounds that may eventually heal, but not without leaving scars. A tongue lashing also hurts. As I look back on my life, I still think about words spoken to me that have left scars. I am even more devastated when I remember words I have spoken that have also left scars. The tongue is both a blessing and a curse. It depends on the words that roll from it and the tone in which they are spoken.
Dean Feldmeyer Christopher Keating Mary Austin Ron Love George Reed
A big theme running through all of this week’s lectionary texts is that of “authority” -- God tells us that he will raise up prophets with authority to speak God’s words, and Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue is described as “astounding” because he “taught them as one having authority.” In this installment of The Immediate Word, team member Dean Feldmeyer examines what characteristics give us authority when we speak -- and notes that one of the traditional sources of authority in our culture, the news media, has lost much of the authority it once commanded.
Ron Love Frank Ramirez Bill Thomas Bonnie Bates Mark Ellingsen Bob Ove
God calls forward prophets. In Deuteronomy the prophets are Moses and Joshua, but today God is still calling forth prophets. Who are the prophets in our midst, those empowered by God to preach and proclaim the message of God? These prophets may come from unlikely places: women marching for freedom and equal rights; the Black Lives Matter movement; the peace movement; those spending their lives nurturing the lives of those living on the streets; those seeking veterans benefits or rights for the poor and infirm, the elderly and disenfranchised.
As Epiphany season pertains to living the Christian life, these lessons direct us to consider a particular aspect of what the faithful do or follow -- prophecy and our need for prophetic authority or the authority of Jesus to get through life. We are called to hear the voice of Jesus and his prophets and to live prophetically ourselves in the midst of all the chaos and injustice that surround us.
I recently watched a televised tribute to Dame Judi Dench, who really is an outstanding actress. She'd been selected for a special BAFTA award, so it was a glittering occasion gathering in the great from around the world.
They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.