The image that you see at the right is called a “word cloud,” made from a program online, where you can plug in a large chunk of text and it will generate an image from the words provided. It analyzes the words used, and the more a word is used, the larger it appears in the image. In order to create this specific word cloud, I plugged in all of the words from the “Confirmation verses” that all of you provided on Confirmation Sunday in June. It was such a vast array of verses that it was wonderful to read through them. We had a very even mix of passages from the Old Testament and New Testament, and a nice combination of verses from the gospels and Paul’s letters. I looked at all of the ones we had written down and realized that we had provided a fairly broad overview of the entire Bible—traveling from the words of Joshua, through the Psalms and Proverbs, to the prophets, and on into the words of Jesus and the words of the disciples who came after him. We are a people of the whole Bible—not just some parts, some stories we like, but every word that comes to us from scripture and our selected verses display that. We are people of God’s Word.
Maybe the words that are the BIGGEST in our word cloud are no surprise, but I think they highlight our focus and our priorities when it comes to our faith and who we are as the church. We are people of our GOD, we are people who proclaim Jesus as LORD, and through God and our Lord, we are shown LOVE and called to proclaim and share that love with the world. The other big words might not necessarily be the ones you would expect, but they speak volumes about the way that we see God working in our lives. As a congregation we feel BLESSED by the multitude of ways God provides for us, for the ways that we are protected, for the ways that we are loved. So often in this world, it can be easy to wallow in complaint or frustration at what we don’t have, and yet when you examine our verses, who we are, we want to focus on the blessings God has provided us. Thus it is also no surprise that GIVES is one of our big words. We focus on the wonders that God has given us, the many ways God calls us to give back to others, and how God gives us the ability to serve the world. Our last two big words are GOOD and SALVATION. What better words for focusing on how God operates in our lives. No matter what we might face, no matter what may assail us, God seeks to provide good for us, in a myriad of ways, yet the assurance we have is that, even when things aren’t good, when we fall down, when we sin, we are forgiven and ultimately given the gift of salvation from Jesus’s death and resurrection. It’s a powerful message, and one that we must hold in our hearts always, God is good and God gives us salvation and love, and it’s wonderful that this is the message that our Confirmation verses convey. So who are we? We are the people of GOD and Jesus Christ our LORD, thankful for the ways God has BLESSED us with LOVE and SALVATION, and has provided us with the means to GIVE those things to others. I must say, that’s the definition of a group that’s bound to change things in the world, and I am grateful to be a part of the wonderful things we all are doing.
Peace it Together,