Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 2 Timothy 2:8-9 (NIV).
Another word about Notre Dame. Reflect on what happened, on the Parisians who sang Ave Maria as the church burned. Reflect on the heroism of the firemen struggling to save the magnificent church. And then, most of all, reflect on what Jesus has now started doing through the financiers, and politicians, and the unknown people who will use kindness and talent and heart to rebuild it for the glory of God.
God’s word is not chained. Nothing on this planet can chain it, bind it, contain it. God’s word is the power of life and eternity.
God’s word is best spoken from the cross. God’s love is found in His only Son, Jesus, dying there so that we may live. God’s loving Word is found at the empty tomb, on Easter Sunday, when it crushed death and gave the world real hope. God’s Word lives in you and me and the singing Parisians as His Spirit that came at Pentecost and now lives with us so many centuries later.
God’s word isn’t chained up by a beautiful church building that can be burned. God’s word is written on your heart, fused into your DNA, living in your bloodstream and in the thoughts that course through your mind. When you reach the end of this life, God’s word is the only thing you’ll have left. What will you think of it then? Will you have used your time to get to know Him, to confess your need for Him, and to have accepted His gift of salvation?
A friend of mine died on Monday. What I knew of Kim (Page) Granger was that, in her last years, when the world had literally taken everything from her, she held on to faith. That wasn’t easy, given that she came from a background of abusive relationships and a family history of dysfunctional religion. Yet in the end, she still believed in Jesus, meaning that her end here this week was the start of a forever with Him. Kim and I had been co-workers over the years, and she supported me through my own tests of faith. I’ll miss my friend, but am happy that her pain here is over – she had brain cancer – and that she met Jesus in person. God’s word didn’t keep her chained to pain here forever. God’s word broke her chains because His word itself can never be bound in chains. It’s true in Paris. It’s true with my friend. It’s true with you today.
For further reading: Acts 2:24, Matthew 1:1, Romans 2:16, Acts 9:16, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 2:10.
Lord Jesus, nothing can contain You, or Your Word. Forgive me when I fail You. Teach me Your better ways.