Daily Worship

Unspoken, unwritten

Lily Cathcart January 06, 2023 0 1
Image credit: Unsplash

Matthew 2: 1-12 (NRSVA)

1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6 “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who is to shepherd my people Israel.”’

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Words can be powerful. Spoken words, written words, thought words. Whatever form our words are taking — as was the case with the wise folk in today's reading — what we don’t say can be just as powerful as what we do.

When was the last time you chose not to write something?

Perhaps at work, realising that an encouragement in an email would be so much more effective without a criticism in the next sentence?

Perhaps when messaging a friend you chose not to try and fix their problem, deleting that message before you even sent it and simply typing ‘I’m here if you need to talk.’

Maybe it was to yourself, looking in the mirror, you start to say something about yourself that society’s airbrush bullies have made you feel. But instead of saying it, you stop and speak to yourself kindly.

In all these examples, where space is left by something unsaid there is room for God. For the wise folk too, God prompted them to leave things unsaid. God is good at speaking in the gaps we leave and leaving gaps so that we can speak. This week maybe try to leave more gaps in your writing, your speaking, and your thinking. See what God will put there instead.




Dear God of unsaid things,

Help us to keep in mind your love for whoever we are communicating with

Encourage us to sometimes say less, not more

Be in the spaces between our words, fill us with good words and pauses