Monday, October 5, 2020
Words matter. In fact, they matter a lot. It’s incredibly easier to consider someone outside the pale, outside of our realm of protection if we do not consider that person as one like us. Using a word to describe another person as not equal to us did not just start in the last century. It goes back at least to the Greeks who called speakers of foreign tongues “barbarous,” or barbarians.
Words matter. Romans called early Christians “atheists” and after Christians gained power Jews were reviled as “Christ-killers” who drank the blood of babies. Does this sound familiar? QAnon perhaps? Hutus called Tutsis “cockroaches” and Fascists called their opposition “communists.” Not to be outdone, those who opposed the new order of communism were called “counter-revolutionaries.”
When political leaders use words of hate, violence follows. History has shown us that and the present day is no different. Words matter.
Prayer for the Day
God of mercy who feeds us with your love,
Break down the walls we build against others;
Free us from the old fears that dampen our spirits,
Expand our vision of what you are and what we can be.
May we walk in your ways loving our neighbors as ourselves
Bringing them into the community of love.
We ask this in the name of him who has no walls
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Thoughts for the Day
Some Christians are more offended by the idea of everyone going to heaven than by the thought of everyone going to hell.
Rachel Held Evans, American religious writer (1982–2019)
If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.
John F. Kennedy, President (1917–1963)
The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers; and upholds the orphan and the widow,
But the way of the wicked will be brought to ruin.