The Last Word
By Vicki Helmling
This article first appeared in Grace English Lutheran School’s weekly newsletter. It has been reprinted with permission, as it is very timely during this season of Lent.
Do you have machines that you talk to? I do - I talk to my laptops and printers all the time.
Do they talk back to you? YES, mine do - they seem to always be telling me what to do, especially when I want to do something else. My newest printer is very good at telling me when and when not to remove the paper from the tray as it is being printed. Seems like they want the last word.
Does this happen to you in life as well? How about when you are texting or on a social media site? Do you often have difficulty ending the session? Who ends it? Who gets the last word? You say goodbye and someone else sends you an emoji; you send one back and so on and so on...
Children are really good at this. We wait for them to learn their first words and then they seem to want to get that last word in, and the last word is usually followed by the word "but...”
How about the first word? Are we quick to get the first word in when it comes to defending another person or just ourselves?
There are a number of important first and last words in the Bible.
The first words spoken in Creation were, "Let there be light," (Genesis 1:3) and it happened. God's first words when He decided to create humans were, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (Genesis 1:26). When God created Eve, Adam's first words were to acknowledge that Eve was part of him (Genesis 2:23). God's first words after the fall were to issue a promise of salvation (Genesis 3:15). Whenever an angel shows up in its heavenly form, its first words are "Do not be afraid." The angel has been instructed to give comfort to God's chosen receiver of the message the angel brings. Very important first words. Words of creation, acknowledgement, salvation, and comfort. Words for us, words for our well-being.
While each of the above words were first words, they were also last words in that they put an end to something.
God's words of “Let there be light” ended the void, the emptiness. God creating man in His image ended the emptiness of the world without the love God had to share. God creating Eve for Adam ended Adam's being alone in the world God had created. God letting the evil one know that Jesus would crush his head would be the beginning of the end of a long road toward our Salvation that Jesus would take through the cross. Finally, each time an angel spoke the words "Do not be afraid," fear was being put away as God's perfect love was coming through and, "There is no fear in love, perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18a).
God always has the last word. His last word is for us. He sent the last WORD to us when He sent His Son to be our Savior.
He sent His only begotten Son to be the atoning sacrifice for us (1 John 4:10). This He did purely out of fatherly goodness and love.
Our God got the last word when His Son died on Good Friday and then rose on Easter Sunday.
Thank you LORD, for being the first and the last WORD.
Vicki Helmling is the school administrator at Grace English Lutheran School in Chicago, IL. Do you have a ministry experience you would like to share? If so, you, too, could be a guest blogger for the English District. For consideration, please send an email to Lynne Cobb, Communications Coordinator for the English District LCMS, at firstname.lastname@example.org.