2014 could be called the "Year of the Fourteen Words." That is how the people of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (Escondido, California) are thinking of it. When we see "2014," or hear it, or write the date, we may take a moment to remember the Fourteen Words. Some have committed to saying the 14 Words at least once a day during 2014.
What are the Fourteen Words?
They are a devotion - a meditation - consisting of two seven-word statements found in the Bible. It's worth noting that seven is the perfect number.
The first seven words come from Luke 18:13: "God, be merciful to me, a sinner."
It is the perfect prayer. It is a prayer of repentance but also much hope and faith in God's mercy. This prayer flies into the ear and heart of God.
The second seven are from Matthew 9:2: "Take heart, child, your sins are forgiven."
This now is how God replies, through the mouth of Christ, to the first seven words. It is the perfect word of forgiveness and absolution. It strengthens the heart and faith, and is spoken and addressed to you personally - His child.
These are the Fourteen Words. Seven and Seven. And round and round it goes: a lifelong conversation between your soul and your God. It never grows old, but rather new.
And we are taking the year to mine its riches. Yes, I will teach on it often. But the final lessons will be taught by the Holy Spirit and learned in the deepest place of the heart.
The Lord richly bless 2014: The Year of the Fourteen Words!