A Mouth Full

And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5 NRS)

(Image courtesy of styletips101.com)

This verse from the Book of Isaiah could easily be the lament of Christianity.  Over and over again we are privileged to see God in worship, in our lives, in those we love, and at work in the world.  Yet we are a people of unclean lips living in a world of unclean lips.  Our mouths can be filled with vileness and spew forth filthy words that coat everything with the darkness of sin.  We can use our mouths to hurt, to cause immense pain and suffering.  We use words to degrade others, to taunt the weak, and to lash out at our enemies.  We use words to accomplish our personal goals much more often than God’s will.  Our mouths are full, too often of everything but the clean, purifying words of Jesus Christ.

Everything that comes out of our mouths is subject to scrutiny.  How about the lyrics to the songs you sing?  There are children singing songs written by adults that are incredibly over sexual and deprive certain people of the dignity to which they are entitled.  Sure, they are only songs, but we all know the power of music and the internalization of lyrics.  They become part of our vernacular and shape the culture in which we live.  Do we sing what we want because we want to?  Or do we consider how what we listen to and the music we support through our fiscal power makes a very clear statement about everything from how we view women to the acquiescence of childhood hyper-sexuality?  Do we ever ponder that music that is filled with lyrics of hatred and greed permeate the airwaves while the Gospel of Jesus Christ is caged inside a church? 

Isaiah had a God encounter and the first thing he did was confess his uncleanness.  Perhaps it is time that we, the People of Christ, examine our own mouths.  We can choose to echo a culture that is not of Christ, or we can bring forth a new culture that embraces one another, that uplifts, and speaks the truth of God’s love.  The choice and the words are yours.

God Above,
You called forth creation with the word.
We too often forget how powerful words are in this world.
Unfortunately, we are a people of unclean lips.
Purify our lips as you purify our beings with your grace.
Teach us a new way of speaking,
As Christ teaches us a new way of living.
Our words should be a blessing, not a curse.
They are power-filled and powerful.
They can speak the truth and cry out for justice.
Let us focus our energy and our words on accomplishing your will.
May praise for you and the promise of the Gospel flow forth from our mouths.
Let the words of Christ echo from the lips of his followers,
Until the whole world sings as one the glory of God.


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