Of Words

Words are vessels.  They can hold meaning like aluminum cans hold soda.  Once I purchased a six-pack of coke only to find that two of the cans were empty.  Words can be empty as well, even ones we expect to be full.  Ask Bobby McGee what freedom means.  I remember as a young man having a relationship with a young woman.  Words like “love” were used to keep each other in the gravitational pull of infatuation.  But, the words were empty.  In the end, I became wary of ever using the word “love” again.  I also remember feeling I knew what the word discrimination meant.  Then I met a man who had experienced it first hand.  He’d been denied rooms at motels, turned down for business loans, and taken a beating from some boys with minds too small for their bodies and fists.

If words can vascillate in their meanings, why would God use them to speak to us.  Is there not the danger we will make them what we will?  Will they not be drained of their significance and emptied of their power? How will their connection with reality be maintained?  Some dictionaries provide pictures when necessary, when words won’t entirely do.  God has done the same for us.  Bruxy Cavey explains:

Jesus provides skin and bones for elusive concepts like love, faith, and freedom.  He shows us what they look like when fully expressed in human form. God did not just use words to reveal his truth to humankind. He knew our tendency to bend the meaning of words around our own agendas.  Jesus is God’s Show-and-Tell (and not just his Tell). We learn more by watching his example than any book or sermon could ever teach us.  Jesus is God’s “Word.”

This is what the gospel of John tells us: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on January 2, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you. May we get to know Him better.


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