My Dear Sisters and Brothers! Freedom of speech appears as one of the fundamental human rights these days. However it also becomes a means for attacking and ridiculing what is precious and sacred to the people of faith. In such a situation it is easy for us to become defensive and withdrawn.
However we do not need to defend the Word of God. The Word can defend itself and it can also pass judgment. We do not need to hide the Word either. The Word has been given to us to transform us to such an extent that the Word of God is not on the pages of the Bible but it radiates from us.
John the Baptist was a man who was so influenced by the Word of God that the desire for the coming of the Messiah, which fills the pages of the Old Testament, filled him so strongly that he became ‘a voice crying in the wilderness.’ Because of John the Baptist the cry of the prophets was not restricted to the pages of the Old Testament. John voiced that longing for the coming of the Messiah by his whole being.
When I read about the Baptist, who according to prophesy of Isaiah, was ‘the voice crying in the wilderness’ I remember the incident from many years ago when I heard a cry of a woman who was told that her son died in a car crash. There were no words but everyone could get from her cry how much she loved her son and how broken she was when the news of his premature death was communicated to her.
My Dear Fellow believers! The news which is communicated to us through the Bible is the Good News, though it speaks about death. God has given us his Son who died and rose for us. Now the way to God’s Kingdom leads through our faith in the Son of God. The way to God’s Kingdom is all about knowing and loving of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not a dead thing even is some desperately want him dead. In a sense it is nothing new. Two thousand years ago there were also people who wanted Jesus dead. They did well. Jesus was put to death. However his Resurrection turned the plans of his adversaries upside down. Jesus is risen. He is alive. There are still people like the disciples on the way to Emmaus ‘whose hearts were burning when Jesus explained the Scriptures to them.’ Such people today bear witness that the Bible is not an old fashioned piece of literature but the Word of God which is ‘alive and active. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.’
In 1944 during a service in the synagogue the Chief Rabbi of Rome Izrael Zolli had a mystical experience which led him to accept Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. Later he wrote: ‘The Old Testament is God’s coded telegram to mankind, and the one cipher, the one code to reading its contents, is Jesus Christ, who is both true God and true Man.’
The Word of God is still alive and active because the One who speaks it is risen.