It feels like it has been so long since I sat down to write, just to write. I’ve been reflecting a bit on what it means to be a person who is caught up in words every day (this happens when you are a reader and a writer and work at a publishing company) AND a person who has been embraced by Jesus, the WORD of God.
Words are a tricky thing … we strive to articulate who we are, how we feel, what we hope for in words — yet the very words can set us free or bind us. Sometimes I come across something that says perfectly what I feel — a song lyric or a quote from someone far more eloquent than I. But other times the words elude me, like they’ve gone into hiding and all I’ve got is a few mismatched nouns. People always think that if you are a writer than writing must be easy. But the fact of the matter is that it is just as much of a challenge. It’s just that for whatever reason we return again and again to the paper and pencil and keep on scrawling out letters in the hope that they’ll make some sense, somehow.
In terms of the spiritual life, we are people who use words regularly to worship, to teach, to share with one another, to encourage, to serve and so forth. Yet we are also people of action, people who strive to be fertile ground where good words can fall and not perish but take root and grow in us. In our prayer we embrace words but we also let go of words as we do all images when we are gazing upon God.
Scripture tells us that Jesus is the Word of God. The very first words of John’s gospel are “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Of all the images that the evangelist could have been inspired to use, it was the image of WORD. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is that which is proclaimed, that which is written on our hearts. Of all the things which God has said (and God has certainly had a lot to say over the years), Jesus is the Word, the definitive, complete Word of God. In this one Word we find meaning and salvation.
As a writer, I’ve got to hand it to God for saying in one Word that which writers have spilled untold amounts of ink to convey in our simple collections of nouns, verbs, and miscellaneous parts of speech.