Sticks and Stones



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

1 John 4:19–21

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.


The pain of sin comes in many different forms, but possibly the most painful and the most prevalent is the pain that comes from our words. As a child, you probably heard that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you, but that is a lie. Our words have a lasting effect on others. They remain firmly planted in our memories and can rear their ugly heads at any moment. And for some reason, the power of negative words seems to be so much stronger than the power of positive ones.

It is Thursday of Holy Week and many of us will attend church services tonight, remembering the last supper Jesus had with His disciples and how Jesus washed their feet as a sign of servanthood. Yet it was on this night that two of His disciples would hurt Jesus with their words. Judas’s betrayal was premeditated. He had gone to the chief priests and officers of the temple guard to plot how he might betray Jesus. Peter’s denial was predicted. Even as he promised his loyalty, Jesus knew that Peter would falter.

At the Passover meal, Jesus turned to the disciples and told them, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35). Surrendering the pain of betrayal and denial might just take the strength of Jesus, but it is in following His example that we can find restoration.

It is not enough to just love the Savior who gave His life for you. The evidence of your love must be in how you love others. Remember that being altar’d creates space to encounter Jesus, offers a surrender, and experiences a shift or transformation in our lives. Loving others is the evidence of a shift in our hearts and in our behavior. As you enter into the worship space to remember Jesus’s last meal with His disciples, let it be a time of laying down the pain of words that have been spoken about you or over you. Lay down the words that you have said to others confessing that they did not show love to your brother or sister. As you surrender, allow the Lord to replace that pain with His mercy and restore the wounded places of your heart.


Jesus, we are sorry for the ways we have betrayed You and denied You. We are sorry we have not loved You with our whole hearts and we have not loved our neighbors. Forgive us we pray. Amen.


What wounds have you carried from words that have been spoken to you or about you that you can lay down today? What wounds have you caused by your words? Are you able to confess and ask for forgiveness?

For the Awakening,
Susan Kent 

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

4 Responses

  1. To open your heart to God is to open your heart to love. Where there’s little visible love, God is being resisted. Where there’s lots of love, God is being welcomed.

    Love isn’t sentimentalism. It’s not a program. God is love! He cares enough to call all people to freely come to Him and to live moment-by-moment aware of and surrendered to His presence. People who continually respond to that invitation radiate love throughout the day.

    When people who do that assemble themselves together, heart-changing love fills the room. It visibly spreads from person to person as released by God’s Spirit. Christ is living in and manifesting His love through all those who embrace and obey His inner promptings.

    When the members of the body of Christ begin to listen to and individual act in response to the voice of “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” the Gospel story is clearly demonstrated in their midst as a sense of awe fills the room. I’ve seen that happen many times. The first time I experienced it, it completely changed my life and ever since then I have continually hungered and thirsted for that kind of literal manifestation of God’s love. “O taste and see that God is good!”

  2. Unfortunately, in my opinion, many of us carry old hurts that happened in the past that have been covered over with scare tissue. These former hurts can still have an influence in how we react to certain situations. I truly believe that these hurts can receive the healing needed by active participation in a small group setting. I also believe that many folks pay lots of money to have a secular councilor listen to them in an attempt to heal these hurts, when in reality what they really need is spiritual healing that can only take place within a small group of mature, loving brothers and sisters in Christ, and prayer.

  3. Every word SPOKEN becomes a living thing – to minister or to destroy (Prov. 18:21, 6:2 4:20-22)

    Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits they become character; Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

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