Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday in Proper 3: The sacredness of the word

Opening Sentence
The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. John 4:23
Commemoration: Juraj Tranovsky
Almighty God, who have taught your people to praise you in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs: We thank you for your servants to whom you have given skill in the writing of hymns, especially at this time for Juraj Tranovsky, and we pray that by your grace we may sing your praises joyfully in this life, and finally attain to the harmony of the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 26, 28

Lessons: Proverbs 15:16-33, 1 Timothy 1:18-2:8, Matthew 12:33-42

Our world is incredibly verbal and we are so constantly flooded by words which have lost their meaning and therefore their power. Christianity reveals the sacredness of the word--a truly Divine gift to man. For this reason our speech is endowed with tremendous power either positive or negative. For this reason also we shall be judged on our words: "But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matt. 12:36-37). To control speech is to recover its seriousness and its sacredness, to understand that sometimes an innocent "joke," which we proffered without even thinking about it, can have disastrous results--can be that last "drop" which pushes a man into ultimate despair and destruction. But the word can also be a witness. A casual conversation across the desk with a colleague can do more for communicating a vision of life, an attitude toward other men or toward work than formal preaching. It can sow the seeds of a question, of the possibility of a different approach to life, the desire to know more. We have no idea how, in fact, we constantly influence one another by our words, by the very "tonality" of our personality. And ultimately men are converted to God, not because someone was able to give brilliant explanations but because they saw in him that light, joy, depth, seriousness, love which alone reveal the presence and the power of God in the world.

Alexander Schmemann
Great Lent

Come Thou Almighty King