Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost – James 3:1-12

Grace, peace and mercy to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Words contain great power. They convey our ideas, our desires, our emotions. Words convey who we are and how we see ourselves in the world and in our relationships with one another, and with God.

But now if I was to say that I love you, how would you react? Some of you might be pleased, some might blush, some (particularly manly, blokey types) might be very uncomfortable. The very power of speech also means that we have to be careful with how we use words for they can be easily misunderstood. The message, “I love you” will have a very different meaning between Sonja and I, than between myself and you as a congregation. They might sound the same, yet the meaning is very different.

Our readings today share the power of speech and God’s warning for us to control our tongues, to watch how we use words so we bear a good witness to Christ’s saving work. The very real danger is that we use our tongues to tear people down, rather than build up the body of Christ on earth.

Heavenly Father, sanctify us in the truth, your Word is truth. Amen.

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