Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’ (Matthew 5:37)
The letter to the Ephesians presents a call for Christians to be honest and accountable to each other, so that we may grow in community. There is no place for deceitfulness, for it serves only to impair our relationships and so destroy that community. We are called to live an authentic life of faith and stand up for the truth. Our yes must mean ‘yes’ and our no must mean ‘no’ – with no equivocal language or dishonest behaviour. Dishonesty disrupts the unity of the Church for which we are called to pray and work.
If I am to speak truth to power,
whose truth do I speak?
Whose justice do I seek
in the space between my right-ness
and that of the ‘other’?
If I say ‘yes’ to justice,
does that make it all mine?
What of the grey between the emphatics?
‘Let me declare boldly,
that my yes is
a “yes-yes”, and my
no is “no”.’ Says Jesus.
‘Let me draw clarity
in the sand that
defines and refines
knowledge, truth and tales
in such a way
that all are sure.
‘Let me dwell deep
in the place within
where, regardless of the outward form
you know beyond doubt’s shadow,
that truth and justice,
peace and righteousness lie.
‘And let me,
in my boldness
the hypocrisy of
those who confuse integrity with fake-ness,
who obscure truth with falsehood
and call it news.
‘Let me boldly be good news.’
God of justice,
grant me the wisdom to see right from wrong.
Let my heart be guided by honesty and my lips speak truth.
In times of doubt, cloak me in courage the colour of trust.
Birth in me the passion for unity and peace
so that I may be a good news bearer for all.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
What does it feel like to have your words distorted?
Look at on-line or paper copies of current news items. Can you distinguish spin, or ‘fake news’ – what are the markers of such items?
How, in our churches, do we tell, or re-tell our own stories in order to set ourselves in a good light?
Go and Do
Not everything we read or see in the news is true. ‘Fake news’ has become a catch-all term for stories that are deliberately made up and also those that have some truth to them but are not reported accurately.
Hold a newspaper reading breakfast for the churches in your area and take time to discuss the headlines and equip yourselves with the skills to discern what is true in this ‘post-truth’ age. Visit Go and Do to find out some steps for identifying fake news that you can discuss over breakfast.
Visit Go and Do to find out about and join the campaigns challenging the negative and scaremongering reporting in the media.