Dear Friends,

I love words.  I love the English language which contains words of great seriousness, consequence and gravitas but it also contains such words as piffle, twaddle, balderdash and my favourite flap doodle.

I love wordsmiths who can skilfully use the perfect word to portray the meaning and the feelings of the prose, poetry or lyrics.

One of my favourite wordsmiths is the hymnwriter John Newton and one of my favourite hymns is “Amazing Grace.”  Just imagine if he had written the first verse like this:

“Amazing Grace (how sweet the sound) that saved a man like me!  I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”  

It sounds ok, but how much more powerful is it because of John Newton’s use of the word wretch, “that saved a wretch like me”.  Words have power.

I also love the simplicity of John Newton’s hymn, “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear, it soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds and drives away his fear.”  It continues through each verse in simple poignant words of faith and praise.

The Bible is a beautifully written piece of literature that contains many comforting passages and I am sure each of us have a favourite verse.  If you Google, ten most popular verses in the Bible, the number one spot will not surprise anyone.  It is: John 3: 16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”   N.I.V

My favourite verse comes into the list at number 7 – Matthew 11: 28

“Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.”  N.I.V

As Christians we were called to share the beautiful, comforting and inspiring words of God, but for most of us this is both difficult and terrifying.  So, let’s build our confidence by sharing these influential words with each other.  Perhaps we could have a space in the newsletter to share with each other our favourite Bible verses, lyrics, poetry or prose.  Something to think about.

                       Yours in Christ,

Marion Brierley              

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