Our Lenten Sermon series is Sticks and Stones, and we’ve been looking at the words and phrases that Christians use that might be confusing or even off-putting to other Christians, people of other faiths, or people who claim no faith. We began by being honest about the very word Christian and how, in this day and time, we sometimes feel the need to say, “I’m not THAT kind of Christian.”

Last week our sermon was “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin and Other Abominations.” I shared with you one of the most hurtful stories I’ve ever heard in which a “Christian” made a horrible judgment and pronouncement upon her neighbor. A couple of you sent me your own experiences, and I have to say that sometimes it seems our “Christian” responses know no bounds of cruelty.

I hate to think that the person who said, “The Christian army is the only army that kills its own wounded” was correct. But sometimes….

Today I want to offer an antidote to Sticks and Stones. Today I want to offer Good Words, or Benedictions.

I hope this poem fills you with hope as it has me.

“Just Words” by Anthony Robinson

They are just words
Not hard things, like guns
Not precious, as gold
But ink on paper
Lines, this way and that
Or sounds invisible, vapors

Words – how many fly, fall, are carelessly flung in a day, in a minute
We are as wanton with words as the dandelion with its winged seed.
But just words are sometimes
The best we have
Sometimes all we have,
And even all we need.

A right word
A true word
A sharpened word
A clean word
A graceful word

Is all we need
To create the world again.


O God, whose Word called the worlds into being, may our words which flow from our hearts call into being faith, hope and love.

Always in Hope,