Seven Wonders of the Word
In the beginning was the Word.
On the whole, I am not into poetry. I don’t have anything against poetry, in fact my daughter rather has a gift for it and she has written some lovely stuff. Maybe the reason I like her poetry in addition to the fact that she is very good at it, is that I have a relationship with her. Relationships make a difference.
John begins his Gospel, with poetry. It is poetry about relationship. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word creates. Not just once long ago, but it continues to create in the here and now.
Maybe that isn’t a huge revelation, but I think sometimes we forget what words can do. Words do stuff, they just don’t sit on a page, or fall on the ear, they evoke a response, they mean something, they in short create.
When I was a kid, I got picked on a bunch, I got called names. It happens and I am by no means unique. But how many of us have heard “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I know what those who told me this were thinking, how they hoped that it would ease the pain, but the truth is words are more than fluff, they have consistency, they have heft, they can do much both bad and good.
The Word came to us because words were once used that coaxed us out of right relationship with God and it is the Word that has come to restore that relationship.
Luke, starts his Gospel with the beautiful Christmas story that we all love so much, Mark starts his Gospel at the beginning of Jesus public ministry, Matthew begins his Gospel with a detailed genealogy.
But John, he starts with poetry this poetry taps into a story that is older than the genealogy, a ministry older than the river Jordan, and a story that is deep as time. For John poetry is the way he can relay to us the depth, breath and weight of the story of God’s love for us. Maybe the reason I love this portion of John so much is that in the waters of my baptism, I was brought into relationship with the Word. In this poetic introduction to the Gospel of John we are all brought into relationship with the very creator of the universe, the Word made flesh.
This lent we hear the Word that has been with us from the beginning and that will journey with us through life, through lent and to the cross and the empty tomb. For the Word creates and it seeks to create still in you today. So what word is creative and creating for you today… where is God working his creative love in your life today?