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Hearing the Word of God

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Tuesday 1 of Lent

Readings:Isaiah 55:10-11; Psalm 34; Matthew 6:7-15

A word, once let out of the cage, cannot be whistled back again - Horace.

How often have we regretted something we’ve said? How many times do we speak without thinking and provoke damage, pain and sorrow? It is a familiar feeling to wish to undo what has been done; to re-gather the words that have escaped and cage them within us. But we cannot.

This is not the picture of God’s Word we find in Isaiah: ‘it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it’ (Is 55.11). The Word of God is not only purposeful, powerful, always appropriate; it returns to God with the same power, purpose, appropriation. The Word of God does not escape, but is sent and returns in one moment, one eternal act.

This is the breathing of God and the source of life for the earth. And it is into this life of God that we are called by the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. But the Word is not only that through which God creates all things, nor only that by which God saves humanity. The Word that is God is the one in whom God reveals himself, his will, his purpose in the scriptures.

Let us pray this Lent that we recognise the Saviour, the life of God within us as we hear his living Word: ‘Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’ (Matt. 6.10).


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