January 16, 2017

Words Create Worlds

On Christmas morning a few weeks ago, we turned from the infant in the cradle to give our worship to the mighty God who came among us as that baby. We read these words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

The Word: this is one of our most holy names for Christ, the second person of the Trinity, the Beloved Child of God. Christ is the Word of God. And, as John tells us, Christ the Word was present with God in the act of creation—all things came into being through the Word, just as it is written in the book of Genesis. God speaks, and worlds are created.

Words create worlds.

So what worlds shall we create? What shall we do with this powerful tool each of us has, the ability to speak truth into the world? In our reading from Isaiah this past Sunday, the prophet is grappling with just this question.

He recognizes that God has called him to do something, God has made his mouth like a sword, and made him like a polished arrow. In other words, you could say that God gave the prophet the ability to send out words that hit their mark, that find their target.

This week, our strained political discourse is surely to continue, with words flying every direction. On Friday, about half of the country will be excited about our new president. And about half of our country will be marching in solidarity with those who rightly are nervous or fearful in this moment.

But before we get to Friday, we as a nation will remember something else. This week our nation remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At a time when our country was torn apart by the painful issues of segregation and discrimination, he sent out powerful words that are still resonating with us today.

King had strong opinions on the necessity of well-chosen and well-timed words. And he was passionate about exactly what the content of those words should be. He said this; “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Words create worlds, so we must be sure that the words we use are words that heal, and not words that wound.

So what words will we use, on Facebook, in the comment sections of news articles, and with our neighbors?

What worlds shall we create with our words? I pray that they a worlds of hope and not despair. Worlds of reconciliation and not division. Worlds of healing and not pain. Worlds of light and not darkness, that reach to the end of the earth.