Words are wonderful things. They are not actually concrete things, they are symbols. They are expressions of thoughts and emotions. You can never know the depths of another’s thoughts without words.
Words are powerful. They encourage and destroy; they can mobilize an army or calm a riot. In 1095, the First Crusade was launched by Pope Urban II’s rousing sermon condemning Moslem control of Jerusalem. The world was set on a course of global war when Adolf Hitler became Reich’s Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and moved a nation with his rhetoric.
Words sometimes become toys or tools in our hands. By the art of “spinning” words, we can make something horribly ugly sound desirable. Who would not prefer to “go home to be with the Lord” over being “dead?” And while any sane person opposes abortion, who would disagree with the “right to choose?”
Christianity is inexorably bound up in words. Words are our tools of trade in that:
- They are the “stuff” of revelation. God has disclosed His power and Godhead in creation, but He has definitively spoken to us in His Word, the Bible. Without the inspired words of Scripture, we would have no knowledge of the saving goodness of God.
- They are the means of gospel communication. It has been said that of all the world’s religions, Christianity is unique in that it has been spread through preaching, through the use of words. God has chosen to speak at in different times and in various ways through human instrumentality.
Of course, the ultimate expression of God the Father is Jesus Christ. Heb. 1: 1-2 says that in these last days, God has spoken to us in His Son (or, literally “in a Son-kind-of way”). John calls Jesus “the Word” in the 1st chapter of his gospel. As the Word, He is the concrete expression of the Father. John says that the Son “declares” (or “exegetes”) the Father.
In this season, we remember the Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us. The eternal Logos or Word dropped into human history through the virgin’s womb to dwell among us, not apart from us, not above us. This He did to show us God’s glory; a glory filled with grace and truth.