"Thy strong Word did cleave the darkness; At Thy speaking it was done. For created light we thank Thee, While Thine ordered seasons run. Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send! Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end!
"They strong Word bespeaks us righteous; Bright with Thine own holiness, Glorious now, we press toward glory, And our lives our hopes confess. Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send! Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end!"
Words have power. The childhood saying tries to assure us, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me," but we know that unkind names and words do hurt. Words both inflame anger and inspire acts of compassion. A word of forgiveness, "a word fitly spoken" (Proverbs 25:11a), can heal a broken relationship.
God's all-powerful Word can do much more. His Word creates, bringing things into existence where nothing existed before. God said, "'Let there be light,' and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). There was no sun yet, no moon or stars, but when God spoke, light appeared, cleaving the darkness. God's Word called the heavens and the earth into being and set creation in order.
God said that His Word, "shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11b). God sent His Son into the world to reconcile this fallen, sin-darkened world to Himself. Jesus, the Word made flesh, accomplished the purpose for which He was sent. Darkness shrouded the land as He hung on the cross, suffering the penalty of death that we deserved. Then, on the first Easter morning, the early light revealed Jesus' empty tomb. The darkness of sin and death fell victim to the risen, reigning Light of the world.
Because Jesus took our sins onto Himself, the mighty, creating Word of God "bespeaks us righteous," declaring us not guilty. As the Word once called creation into existence, so through faith in Jesus, each of us is made a new creation, clothed in Christ's righteousness. God speaks, and things happen! Our sins are washed away in Jesus' blood, and we are dressed in Jesus' perfect holiness.
"Glorious now," dressed in the bright righteousness of Jesus, we press toward the greater glory still to come "and our lives our hopes confess." We use our words, ordinary human words, to bring to others the saving Gospel message. We use our words, our hands, and our hearts to "cleave the darkness" with the love of Jesus, the Word made flesh and the Light of the world.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, bless our words of witness and our acts of love so that others will come to know and worship You as their Savior and Lord. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Thy Strong Word," which is found on page 578 of the Lutheran Service Book.
1. The "Word of God"—a phrase we hear so often we don't even think much about it—what do you think of when you hear it, or use it?
2. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. How would you describe that idea to someone who was unfamiliar with Christianity or the Bible? Why is it important?
3. God's Word cleaving the darkness—is there anything God's Word can't do, or won't do?
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