By Joanne Gallardo, campus pastor
This week’s theme: Show us your hiding place in the thick of temptation
“I don’t trust words anymore, I trust actions.” This sentence came from a friend recently as we met for coffee. As someone who writes and gives sermons regularly, this stung. Words are important! Words can build us up, tear us down, stir us to action or bring us great peace. Words of affirmation are my love language. Who doesn’t love hearing kind or encouraging words? I don’t know where my life would be without the written (or spoken) word.
What I believe my friend was talking about was that for some folks, words have become empty and hollow. We hear promises and words of encouragement and love that fall to the ground and die when we experience isolation and despair. Words without actions to accompany them are flat, two-dimensional and lack meaning. Words, in this day in age, can come across as a lot of hot air or a waste of breath. When actions don’t accompany words, we lose our way. We lose hope.
This year’s Lenten theme is “Show Us.” I interpret this as asking Jesus to “show us” what it means to live a life faithful to the Christian calling. “Show us” what it means to live lives of compassion and empathy. “Show us” what it means to live out Jesus’ teaching. “Show us” what it means to work for justice for all of God’s people. We read the Word, we spend time in community, we pray and we do our best. But even in those times, we are still in need for Jesus to “show us.”
In this time of being shown, I would also encourage us to show others. What does it mean for us to show others what our life of faith looks like? What does it mean to show others that actions should accompany our pretty, clean, 50-cent Sunday Morning words? Words without actions give others the impression that we lack meaning behind what we say. While words are incredibly important, we need to show others. We also need to be shown. May your actions and words match together in harmony today, and every day.