Wednesday, August 29, 2018

No Mere Words

Living in a virtual realm in which words and ideas dominate certainly creates its challenges. But we must be honest and say also that, at least for Christians, it creates its opportunities, as well.

It's frustrating because it seems that the world of ideas doesn't want to hear ours, the war of words makes no room for words of faith. To an extent, that is true; Christians in this virtual existence are being ridiculed, ostracized, chastised, dismissed, and ignored. We are being labeled as haters, bigots, hypocrites, morons, and more. 

And yet, none of that changes the truth of what we have. And what we have, ironically, in a world of words is...a Word.

And we alone know the true power of "mere" words.

It was by a mere word that God spoke the entire universe into existence. He looked into the formless and void and saw something greater, speaking in a simple breath, "Let there be..." and there was. Just like that.

It was by a mere word that God called Abraham to a foreign land, changed Jacob's name at the Jabbok, led Israel out of Egypt, anointed David King. 

It was by a mere word that God announced the coming of His own Son, His own flesh, into the world. 

It was by a mere word that He called men to follow Him, that He cast out demons, that He healed the blind and the sick and the lame and the deaf, that He raised the dead to life. Talitha, koum. And just like that, it was. 

God, again and again and again, has shown us the power of a "mere" word to speak life, real life, life abundant, and also to speak death. Because every word spoken finds its fullness in an empty space waiting for something to come into it, waiting for something to form in the void. 

It's why we, as Christians, must be careful in this place, in the virtual world in which we live. Words, they seem cheap now. They come a dime a dozen. They form the very shape of the world as we know it. And yet, there remains so much empty space, so much space waiting to be formed, so much aching to be spoken into, and we alone know the power of a "mere" word to shape that space. We know what speaking into it can do.

Which means two things for us. First, it means that we cannot get caught up in wars of words. We cannot let ourselves speak idly, adding nothing more than noise to the already-loud fabric of our lives. We cannot say that words are cheap, for we know better than that, and we cannot say they are "just" words, for we know better here, too. We have to rise above and choose our words carefully, with the fullness of them in mind from the very start.

But second, we must harness the power of the Word that we have been given, for it is God who knows best how to speak. It is God who knows the power of words, and He has given His Word to us for His glory. In a world that is formed by what is spoken - now, perhaps, more than ever - we must take this opportunity to speak life, to speak faith, to speak grace, to speak mercy, to speak glory, to speak forgiveness, to speak healing, to speak wonder, to speak love...

...for in speaking, we make these things real, even and especially in a virtual world looking for something with just a little skin on it. In the Word, they find it. 

His name is Jesus. 

May we speak Him, the Word of Life, into our world. 

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