“The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow”. (Hebrews 4:12)The Spirit of God represents Jesus. The Word of God is Jesus. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)
The Word of God is Jesus, and He ministers to us through Holy Scripture in a spiritual and dynamic way. The Word transforms our lives. It goes deep with precision and cuts to the quick, divine spiritual surgery, doing good things, making our lives healthy and invigorating. This is an exciting passage, and it’s passages like this that make me love the Bible, but you have to go deeper into the meaning here. What does this mean to me? How am I participating? How am I interacting with the insights I’m seeing with my eyes and mentally taking note of what is being read?
What is God telling me? How do I interact with the scriptures? For example when God says in scripture to feed the hungry, or to minister to the needs of the marginalized, look after the week in Matthew 25, it requires our interaction, our response. When we respond the Living Word will make that passage and the meaning of that passage alive in your heart and in your life.
It is when we become interactive with the written Word that the Living Word performs spiritual surgery and cuts away the wrong ways and ideas and starts the healing process, the process that brings change and healing. We all know that after surgery that therapy is required for the healing process to continue. Many of you have had major surgeries, and you know the importance of therapy. It’s not all up to the surgeon. After surgery, the therapy is a commitment you must make in order for the healing process to continue.
I have a great appreciation and respect for medical doctors. During Spring break when I was 18 and going to school at Adam State University in Alamosa, Colorado, I was spending time in Taos, New Mexico, a city about 80 miles South of Alamosa. I was sitting on the trunk of my car one evening, off the highway, and a car came off the highway and hit me doing @ 50 miles an hour. It totaled my car and sent me flying through the air and onto the road. The young man that hit me was high on drugs and thought I was in the turn lane, even though there was no road to turn onto. I’m very fortunate to be alive and not to have had more damage done. The doctor at the local hospital wanted to cut off both my legs, but my brother who was also a student at the same college would not sign papers for that to happen. My family arranged a plane to fly me from Taos to Grand Junction Colorado, and was put under the care of a wonderful orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon did his magic, and then told me the rest would be up to me. Therapy was essential for the legs to become strong again. It’s also easier to heal if you are young. But, the therapy was painful and extensive, but about a year later I was able to walk and run.
In order to allow the Living Word to make corrections or changes, it always requires a response. The Living Word always requires a response, if it is to be fully understood. Spending time reading the Word is important. That is what centers us. That is what gives us direction. In our quiet times, personal devotions, daily prayer practice or whatever we decide to call our spiritual practice…when we are reading, meditating, and our heart is in communion with God concerning our understanding about a passage of scripture. That brings things into perspective. That’s a good thing, and I am not downplaying the importance of reading scripture, becoming better acquainted with the Bible. That is where we start, but we are asked in Hebrews to take it a step farther, to go deeper into the Word.
We are asked to be interactive with the Written Word, to make those necessary changes, to take the required therapy for healing and allow the Living Word to make intentional changes. We do our part and the Living Word does His part. It’s a joint operation, and it requires both God and us. The gospel and the New Testament is full of directives about how we should live and how we should govern our affairs, but until we agree to allow the Living Word to do the cutting away, the transformative healing power will not be as effective as desired.
The Word cuts through politics. It cuts through cultural barriers. It cuts through social constructs and gender barriers. God’s Word makes a difference everywhere and all the time. You too are asked to make a difference, because you are a representative of the Living Word. People respond to you, to your church, because when they listen and look at your lifestyle they see a representative of Jesus and a representative of your church, and based on this observation they form their own conclusions about Jesus and the Church you represent. We are Christ’s Ambassadors to the world, to our nation, to our community, to our neighbors and to each other.
“The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account”. (Hebrews 4:12)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it”. (John 1:1-5)
The light shines in the darkness.
Year B 20th Sunday After Pentecost
October 11, 2015
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
El Cajon, CA 92021
The Reverend Dr. David Madsen