Tuesday, January 3, 2017

His Word Will Not Go Out Void

I set my alarm for 420 AM, and y'all...

I rolled out of bed.

I am not a morning person, but this morning I felt compelled to get out of bed.

Even though I don't always manage "quiet time" first thing in the morning.

Ok, let's be honest.

I rarely ever manage "quiet time" in the morning. The snooze button is too inviting.

This morning, though, was different.

I heard it as I walked from my car to the building yesterday at work, and again as I walked back to the car that evening. I couldn't make out the words, only the inflection coming from the speakers, but I knew...

Once you get into His Word, It gets into you, and It settles in you and settles you.

Even though I couldn't understand the words, I knew it was good.

Because He is good, and His Word is one long love letter to us.

So I drove through the rain with Klove on this morning, chugging my Diet Coke because have I mentioned I'm not a morning person?

And as I read from Isaiah 52, knowing that in counties across the state of Kentucky there were other people who very well may be reading that very same chapter at exactly the same time, something about this verse hit me in the feels. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"

In this passage, the bearer of good news is considered beautiful. The publisher of peace is beautiful.

Not always so in today's world of gossip and he said/she said.

And just read these words slowly... "upon the mountains are the feet".

The feet... meaning that good news was spread by word of mouth. Oh, sure, they had scrolls... but only priests could read those.

(Let's pause and let me mourn not being able to read... because if I was a woman in Biblical times, I'd have some very different hobbies. Ok... let's not go there).

So the good news of salvation came by people going from town to town... like Jesus. And the disciples. Hence the great commission...

Which is still alive and well today.  And as I read, I felt a part of that great commission. Kind of like that song, "In the highways and the hedges"... because God's Word is powerful. Speaking God's Word is powerful.  A group of Christians agreeing together is powerful...

As I sat there and listened to the other people read, it moved me. It was beautiful.

Too often we get distracted as we sit in our padded pews on Sunday mornings with our Iphones. I'm just as guilty as the next person. And while I have consciously made myself stop making my to do list during church (a habit I will admit that I have had in the past), I still find myself with my mind wandering...

When was the last time I just sat and really soaked in His Word?

Because it is beautiful.

I started thinking of Nehemiah. In this book, the captives are returning to rebuild their city. They've been in a foreign land and are thirsty for the Word of God. They've not been blessed with it wherever they've been. So Ezra the priest stood to read the Word.

He read from morning until midday...

And the people that listened to him were attentive the whole time.

Standing up.

Y'all.  Let's be honest. Sometimes I'm ready to sit down after a verse...

but they stood there and listened. No fidgeting. No talking to each other. Obviously, no facebook on their cell phone.

And they wept.

As Ezra read those beautiful words, the people who heard them wept.

He tells them not to mourn... and perhaps they were mourning time lost. Opportunities lost. It's easy to do...

but as I sat there this morning listening to those words being read over that microphone, those with the long, unpronounceable names and the years old promises, I understood why they might have wept.

Because when your heart is full of wonder... you can't help but weep.

It comes in you... and then, because it fills you, it spills out of you.

Into your husband or wife. Your kids. Your community. The grouchy person who nearly runs you over with a shopping cart at Walmart.

And His Word doesn't return void... It accomplishes the purpose God has for it.

So, beautiful people, wherever you are... spread that good news. Jesus loves you. Jesus saves. He is the Word made flesh that came to dwell among us and His Spirit is in us...

Let's start acting like it.

And all the people, even the one typing this who is preaching to herself, said Amen...