Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.  ~John 14:23-24

Jesus said these words after Easter and before Ascension. He said this to assure them that he will be with them. I was reminded last week by Pastor Cordell Strug that this past weekend marked the 400thanniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Shakespeare has shaped and influenced the language that we speak. I have not read a lot of Shakespeare, but I am familiar with many of the phrases he created.  Here’s part of a list posted by BBC America of phrases coined by Shakespeare: 

  • “All our yesterdays”— (Macbeth)
  • “As good luck would have it” — (The Merry Wives of Windsor)
  • “Bated breath” — (The Merchant of Venice)
  • “Be-all and the end-all” — (Macbeth)
  • “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” — (Hamlet)
  • “Brave new world” — (The Tempest)
  • “Break the ice” — (The Taming of the Shrew)
  • “Conscience does make cowards of us all” — (Hamlet)
  • “Dead as a doornail” — (Henry VI Part II)
  • “Eaten me out of house and home” — (Henry IV Part II)
  • “Faint hearted” — (Henry VI Part I)
  • “Fancy-free” — (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  • “Forever and a day” — (As You Like It)
  • “For goodness’ sake” — (Henry VIII)
  • “Foregone conclusion” — (Othello)
  • “Full circle” — (King Lear)
  • “The game is afoot” — (Henry IV Part I)
  • “Good riddance” — (Troilus and Cressida)
  • “Jealousy is the green-eyed monster” — (Othello)
  • “Heart of gold” — (Henry V)
  • “In my heart of hearts” — (Hamlet)
  • “In my mind’s eye” — (Hamlet)
  • “Kill with kindness” — (The Taming of the Shrew)
  • “Knock knock! Who’s there?” — (Macbeth)
  • “Laughing stock” — (The Merry Wives of Windsor)
  • “Love is blind” — (The Merchant of Venice)
  • “One fell swoop” — (Macbeth)
  • “Wear my heart upon my sleeve” — (Othello)
  • “Wild-goose chase” — (Romeo and Juliet)

It is surprising how many phrases we still use from Shakespeare. It is also interesting how the spirit of his words shape our values and the way in which we speak.

Jesus’ words shape and influence us through the work of the Holy Spirit. As we know not everyone is sitting in the pews of church or reading the Bible but we do see the words of  Jesus carry on in different ways. We see children named after Jesus’ disciples: Peter, Andrew, John, James, Mary, Martha, etc. We also see children named after virtues: Faith, Grace, Hope, etc.

Jesus encouraged us to serve and care for others which motivated the building of schools, hospitals, soup kitchens, counseling centers, and more. It may seem at times that the presence of Christ is not with us but as we listen and observe we hear and see “God with us” in the words that carry on through the work of the Holy Spirit. As we journey in our lives, may we take time to carry on the words of Christ. Amen.

Peace and Blessings to you,

Pastor Cathy