Guest Speaker: Melanie Springer Mock

About our Guest:

Melanie Springer Mock is a Professor of English at George Fox University, Newberg, Ore. In 2009, she won the GFU Undergraduate Faculty of the Year award, and in 2015, she received the GFU Undergraduate Researcher of the Year award. She is the author or co-author of five books, including most recently Worthy: Finding Yourself in a World Expecting Someone Else (Herald Press, 2018). Her essays and reviews have appeared in The Nation, Christian Feminism TodayThe Chronicle of Higher Education, and Mennonite World Review, among other places. She lives in Dundee, Ore., with her husband and two teen sons.

James 3:1-12 (NRSV)

1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. 4 Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great  exploits.

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species,  8 but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

Queries:

How does the language you use, no matter how benign, separate you from others?

How do we imply our worthiness as image-bearers of God in the language we use? How do we imply that others are less worthy than we are?

What does it really mean to be blessed?