Words are such wonderful things.

Some of them bite. They are hard and brittle, snapping at the heels of postmen.

But others pour on you like oil, and when applied to the sore bits at just the right time, they are miraculous in their restorative power

Even the simplest of words carry within them Trojan horses of layered and hidden meaning.

In combination, they can contain all that we are. All we are for the good, but also all that we are for the bad.

Our lechery

And our lust

Our hatred

And narrow prejudice

Our grasping

And our empire building

Our war mongering

And our hard unyielding doctrines

Tears falling

Hearts breaking.

Woven from the same vowels and consonants as these things-

The tender glances of a girl who found love

The arms of a father encircling a child, growing all too fast

The crisp cotton of a woman lingering at the bedside of a dying man

Hope stoked by kindness

And creativity nurtured by praise

Life fully lived

And shared

The ancient Hebrews, in their attempt to understand God, looked for a word that might describe the presence that they half knew. God must have chuckled, because he gave them the name YHVH or YHWH, written with four consonants only; the holy unpronounceable Tetragramaton. By the time the Hebrew language evolved to include vowels, the early pronunciation of this word had been forgotten, as people had been forbidden from using this most holy precious name.

This name for God, this word for God, it was so precious, so full of unfathomable mystery, so unreachable, uncontainable, so fearful and awe inspiring- that it could not be allowed to pass the lips, but rather should rest on the soul.

I have sometimes wondered if we Christians, in becoming people of the book, have lost what it means to be people of the word.

We talk about ‘The Word of God’ as if it can be contained, categorised and shackled to our particular denomination.

But the words of the Bible, they are not easily classified. They tend to escape the butterfly net we swipe at them with. I think that was the intention behind the inspiration- not to confuse, but to draw us on into the adventure.

1 thought on “Words

  1. Pingback: Topics about Christian life and Bible readings » Archive » Words

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