Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Linglestown, Pennsylvania, USA
I discovered a photo in my reading recently and made a copy of it and posted it on my office door. The photo seems to be the back wall of a garage or other building along a roadway. The wall is spray painted with these words, "Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes." The article I was reading was written by Pastor Sharron R. Blezzard as a reflection of the passages for the fourth Sunday after Epiphany. The Old Testament reading was from Jeremiah 1 and the main theme came from verses 9-10. "Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, 'Now I have put my words in you mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.'" Chapter one of Jeremiah begins with his calling where God tells him that he knew him before he was in the womb and that God would be with him and give him the words to speak as he was being sent by God to the people. It seems that some folks have a hard time speaking and others are more readily able to speak in most situations they find themselves. Jeremiah was sent by God and God sends all of His beloved into the world to speak the truth as the sign said that was mentioned above. Even if your voice shakes speak the truth. Truth is something that seems to be hard to come by at times. We are called to speak the truth no matter what and when we do we are speaking for what is right and what is wrong.
Truth is something that leads us into the Lenten Season that is upon us as in Lent we travel to the cross with our Lord. The truth sometimes is hard to accept and the disciples struggled with Jesus predictions of his arrest, trial, and death. But Jesus also said that he would rise again on the third day which is what happened. The truth of Jesus' words stand by themselves as he did die on a cross and was raised again on the third day. The truth is that he died and rose again for our sins. I pray that all believers can stand at the foot of the cross this Lent and to declare that truth. Declare it so that others can hear the Good News that through Jesus the savior salvation is possible for all people. Yes the cross was an ugly way to die and who would have ever thought in Jesus' day that the Son of God would die such a cruel death. I am also reminded of John 3:16 which is very familiar to many Christians. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (NRSV) This is the truth of scripture and we are called to share this news and even if the truth is hard to speak do so even if you voice shakes. Remember, just as God told Jeremiah that He would put the words into Jeremiah's mouth God will put the words of truth in your mouth as well.
God's peace be with you,
-- Pastor Kerns