Tue | Sep 25, 2018

Power of the Word - Part 1

Published:Saturday | February 3, 2018 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Reverend Dr Michael Friday signing his book at the Launch at the Manchester Parish Library recently.

Mandeville, Manchester:

"And the Lord said unto Moses, write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel." ( Exodus 34:27)

The power of words, whether negative or positive, is undeniable, but do we accept that which we should, particularly the Word of God, and embrace it wholeheartedly?

Man of the cloth, Reverend Dr Michael Friday, said it is high time people fortify themselves with knowledge from the Word and make an impact.

"Long before I first visited a library, I learned that three things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, and the neglected opportunity. I've learned since that only one of those three sticks around forever. The arrow finally rusts or biodegrades; the lost opportunity evaporates into a distant memory; but the word remains, stamped on vinyl, encrypted on tape, spoken into another human, or stored in libraries."

Speaking to the congregation at the Ridgemount United Church recently, Reverend Friday said, "A word, whether spoken, or written, has power. Whether libraries keep the written pages or prefer electronic versions, the word remains potent. Where would we be, without the word? Where would learning and development be?"

He said some words are merely just words to individuals, but it is what is done with those words that make the difference.

"But there is more loss without words than there is gain. The secret, of course, is to learn the right words, and the right construction of those words into something sensible, liberating, educating, and edifying - words matter."

He continued, "It was John's words of challenge to an immoral leader that got him into prison. Nowadays I fear, whether in America or Jamaica, that many preachers appear more interested in using words to ingratiate themselves with the powerful, rather than challenge the policies, politics and people who lead us into temptation, dysfunction, and destruction."

He further mentioned that it was because of John's, truthful words and the fact that it had to be declared why those words precipitated the fall of Herod's wicked system and the same can happen for the country.

" ... The right prophetic words can initiate change of anything dysfunctional in Jamaica. Words matter. From Jesus's ministry, the tradition of teaching and learning took root in Jamaica through free villages, and churches, and out of which came our schools. The first universities were birthed from the church. But it all began with words - words that build libraries; and words that chose to bring transformation, rather than tragedy, to human lives. Words matter."

Next week, we'll share with you exactly how Reverend Friday says we should transform our lives and our nation with words.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com