December 11th Advent Devotion
Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.—Matthew 12:33-37
In our present age and in so many areas of our society, we seem to rely on our First Amendment right to free speech to justify our ability to say and use derogatory language to attack another person's character.
Jesus is the incarnate word of God. A part of our understanding of God’s purpose in Jesus’ incarnation in Mary through the Holy Spirit is a continuation of a process, which God had begun and first set in motion in creation when God made the heavens and earth. In the Gospel of John, the Evangelist writes of how this Word, before it was incarnate, was with God and how all things came into being through Him (John 1:3,4). Jesus’ conception was a miracle, which brought us a new understanding of how God was altering the world that God had first created to make possible a new life of salvation through Jesus Christ. In our lives, we also acknowledge apart from our births, that we are a new creation and have access to a new life—a new life made possible through faith.
In Advent, we commemorate the realization of what had been hoped for centuries come into being. We acknowledge how God brought on a transformative change to the universe. We celebrate in the coming birth of Jesus Christ the new life that we gain in his living, dying, and rising again. If God could say something so meaningful, which became even more meaningful centuries later, rather than empty words that return to us empty, having accomplished nothing, perhaps today we can use meaningful and purposeful words that impact our world positively.
God of truth and light, empower us to speak words, which bring meaning and purpose to others in their lives and which positively impact the world in which we live and breathe. We give thanks for what you have made possible in our lives through faith and ask that our words, thoughts, and actions demonstrate our faithfulness to your holy word. Amen.
By: Rev. Philip Berger