1 In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. All that came into being came into being through him. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.John 1:1-5
I am a person who spends a lot of time with words. I do this both as a matter of vocation and passion. I love it when a string of words catches me off guard and invites my mind to come alive.
The first chapter of John has been that type of text for me through the years. It always leaves me wondering what it means to call Jesus the living word. Does this mean that scripture is Jesus? Does it mean Jesus was the word spoken by God over creation? Does it mean when the spirit speaks through me that is Jesus? I have preached dozens of sermons on this text and yet still I wonder.
Recently in a little obscure book called, “Apples of God,” I read a simple statement about words and it shed some light on the John text for me. Here is what it said.
“Take with you words, strong words of courage; Words that have wings!.. Take with you holy words, words that know God; Pure as light, and beautiful as morning. Take with you tall words, words that reach up. And growing words, with deep life within them. Take with you holy words, words that know God.”
What a great reminder of just how powerful words are to us as human beings. James 3:10 says, “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.” This is so true. Our words have the power to wound, yet our tongues are so hard to control. But what if our words could truly be holy. What if Jesus could become every word that flows from us? How might those words then breathe life into the world around us? How might they bring justice to those on the margins?
The invitation is a simple one. Spend the day really focusing on both the words you speak and the words you hear. Where do you see Jesus in these words? Where do you not? Pray that God might help you be more intentional about giving and receiving tall words, growing words, and holy words that know God. Ask for his forgiveness for the times you and others have fallen short. I pray as you do so you find new life in the living word of God and that you find a love so deep, you long for nothing else.