I remember one morning, I was in West Deptford visiting my grandparents. I was hanging out with some kids that I knew and we had wandered over to the baseball fields to play a little baseball. Before we had gotten started, another group of kids wandered just outside the field. There was some conversation and some insults being thrown back and forth between the two groups.
I saw one of the kids pick something up and throw it towards a group of us that were surrounding home plate. He was beyond the fence in center field when he threw it. Somehow or another I was the “lucky one” that got hit by it. It struck me on the top of my head and I went down. I am not sure if I was unconscious for a moment or not. I got helped up and as I looked back down, I saw a giant nut and bolt. This fairly large piece of metal had brought a lot of pain. But I have been hurt worse.
Metal, wood, and stones we know that they can cause pain. Yet, as I was reading the scripture selection for this morning, I was reminded of something that causes even more pain that we often dismiss. In James 3, we are warned about the destructive power of the tongue. It is such a little thing but it can cause such great pain.
We try to dismiss the significance of it with cute little nurse rhymes that say things like “but names can never hurt me”, but we know it is not true. words hurt and can cause real damage. Today’s reading is an important reminder that we need to be prayerful and mindful when we are talking to other people.
I have been hurt by the words of other people but I am more concerned with the reality that I know t have done the same to others. We sing a song in church occasionally with the lyrics, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going”. This song is about God’s love but it is just as true with gossip. It just as true with nastiness.
So today, let us choose to ignite sparks of God’s love and not sparks of discord and pain.
We are in Day 32 of a 40 day read through the New Testament challenge today. The 40 days of readings are listed below.
***End Note ***
40 Days of Reading
Day 1 – Ash Wednesday
Thursday Day 2 – Mark 5-8
Friday Day 3 Mark 9-12
Saturday Day 4 Mark 13-16
Monday Day 5 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Tuesday Day 6 Galatians
Wednesday Day 7 Philippians & Colossians
Thursday Day 8 Philemon & Ephesians
Friday Day 9 Matthew 1-7
Saturday Day 10 Matthew 8-12
Monday Day 11 Matthew 13-18
Tuesday Day 12 Matthew 19-24
Day 13 Wednesday Matthew 25-28
Thursday Day 14 1 Corinthians 1-9
Friday Day 15 1 Corinthians 10-16
Saturday Day 16 2 Corinthians 1-13
Monday Day 17 Romans 1-8
Tuesday Day 18 Romans 9-16
Wednesday Day 19 Luke 1-3
Thursday Day 20 Luke 4-7
Friday Day 21 Luke 8-11
Saturday Day 22 Luke 12-16
Monday Day 23 Luke 17-21
Tuesday Day 24 Luke 22-24
Wednesday Day 25 Acts 1-6
Thursday Day 26 Acts 7-10
Friday Day 27 Acts 11-16
Saturday Day 28 Acts 17-22
Monday Day 29 Monday Day 29 Acts 23-28
Tuesday Day 30 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus
Wednesday Day 31 Hebrews 1-10
Today Thursday Day 32 Hebrews 11-13 & James
Friday Day 33 Revelation 1-11
Saturday Day 34 Revelation 12-22
Monday Day 35 1 & 2 & 3 John & Jude
Tuesday Day 36 1 & 2 Peter
Wednesday Day 37 John 1-5
Thursday Day 38 John 6-10
Friday Day 39 John 11-16
Saturday Day 40 John 17-21