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Treasuring Your Word above All Else

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The Prayer of the Day in worship today stirred up my thoughts. It went like this:

“Eternal God, you draw near to us in Christ and you make yourself our guest. Amid the cares of our lives [this refers to Martha] make us attentive to your presence, that we may treasure your word above all else [like Mary], through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen.”

The story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10: 38-42) was the gospel reading for today.

But the part of the prayer that stirred my thoughts was “treasuring your word above all else.” The word may mean a concrete word in language, of course, because a word is pretty miraculous when spoken, as miraculous as a flower like a rose or a California poppy. Think of the incredibly complex way the tongue, lips, throat, teeth, breath, and voice form a word, whose sound waves are picked up by our hammer, anvil, and eardrum and formed in our minds!  So a beautiful flower is comparable to words like “poem” and “math,” words which are “ethnically” Greek, and have immigrated into the English language, whether legally or illegally, I don’t know. Good thing there were no language vigilantes killing words and making them die before they crossed over our borders.

Treasuring the word can also mean language per se, or it can be the promise of God, who gives us his word. It can also mean Scripture, the word through which God speaks to us; it can mean the Word incarnate, Jesus Christ, who is the word become flesh, the word became a human being and dwelt with us. With that we sing, “Jesus priceless treasure, source of purest pleasure, truest friend to me.”

Thus it can also mean the Second Person of the most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. Treasuring the word can also mean receiving the gift of creation, spoken  by God into existence. Then the word can be in us and we can be inside the word, when Christ is in our hearts and as Luther says in his “Freedom of a Christian,” “One who hears the word becomes like the word, pure, good, and just.”

Thus when we treasure the word above all else, we too become words spoken from the mouth of God and the food for those who do not live by bread alone.


Written by peterkrey

July 18, 2010 at 10:51 pm

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