On Words

Greetings in Christ,


“In the beginning was the Word….” John 1.1

I have always loved the beginning of St. John’s Gospel. He writes with a poetry in those opening lines that seeks to touch the wonder and mystery that is the Incarnation, of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. He writes of Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life by which all may come to the Father. We are allowed to glimpse the glory of the Father through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  Through St. John’s words the beauty of the holiness of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are shown to us.

The beauty of St. John’s words in his Gospel remind me of what wonderful gift words can be for us. We can express our deepest emotions, our greatest joys and our most painful sorrows. We can share our love for God, for others, for our Lord’s creation and the hope of eternal life through words.

We can read and hear in the words of others the beauty they see in the life God has given them. Through their words events, places, people and ideas can come to us and enrich our lives in ways that we could not know on own. Through the gift of words we can read and know the experience of humankind throughout the ages. We can know Jesus through the gift of the words in the Holy Bible.

It is because I love words and the beauty they can give that the careless use of words in our electronic, online world so often saddens me. We seem to be more and more thoughtless and insensitive as we fling words around with no thought as to the damage they can do. People write and say the most shameful, harmful, vulgar and cruel things to one another, often to people they don’t even know. They are taking the beauty of words and letting them become a means of harm, and yes, evil.

As Christians, who know the value of words because of the Word who became flesh for our salvation, it is important that we use all our words well. We use them to give glory to God in all that we say or write. If are not certain that the words we are about to say or write will reflect the love we have received from Christ, then we would do well to reconsider using them. Let us use our words to give glory to the Father, to proclaim salvation through Jesus Christ and to bless our neighbors.