This coming week will see Wigtown Book Festival summon a large number of people to this part of the country. They will come from far and wide and from town, city and village. The reason is that words are powerful and how people can use them can result in our creating something or destroying it. People who have made a living out of words will come and speak and people who have been very interested in how those words were used will come to listen.
The power in the use of words to create and destroy is a level of gifting that humans alone possess. Though the animals have simpler forms of communication between themselves, alerting each other to food or danger, they do not have the expansive range of communication that can be found in a human, that has the ability to speak and read and write. This is in part what it means to be in the image of God.
Scripture tells us that God speaks. When he does he creates, and what he creates is good. God is able to speak the universe into being and us along with it. Sin enters this creation through words as well. The Devil twists words and truth to tempt our first parents to desire a life independent of direct communication with God. Many know from painful experience this truth even in our human relationships.
Redemption is in the “Word made flesh”, that is Jesus. And Jesus commands his own to go into the world and to speak for and in and through him. For by his words we are brought back to God, and if this is done truly, then back to one another as well.
The two things we can ponder this week can be the following: What sort of words we have used recently? Words to build up and help or to hurt and tear down? What words have we heard recently? Have we heard God’s word or not?