Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Speechless Word

The Word became human and thus became a word-user, but not before being speechless. Think of it, the Son of God, called the Word (know as the Logos in the Greek language) the one who was involved in speaking creation into being (See Genesis “God said . . . “) comes to earth. He becomes human in every aspect and as a baby the in ability to speak until His human body grew and developed.

This is not simply a reiteration of what God has already revealed in the ancient writings but a new revelation of who God is and how he will relate to humans. The wordless Word is the light in a darkened world, piercing the darkness and creating a new creation by the power of His word. He comes to become the second Adam and the beginning of the new creation.

The Word was made flesh and not simply words. He chose to take on our human flesh and not some other flesh. It pleased God for the Word to dwell for a season with like flesh of humanity. Malcolm Guite in his contribution to the book Beholding The Glory, the fullness of God chose to dwell in the flesh of our humanity. The oldest term in the English language for a human being is “reord-berend” or “word-bearer” and we are of all the creatures of flesh, especially word-bearers. It is an even more profound truth that followers of Christ bear the Word in our hearts!

He chooses to empty Himself and the Word becomes wordless for a season. He must grow as a human and learn what He already knows.

I recently read a sermon excerpt of a seventeenth century preacher, Lancelot Andrews who spoke of this paradox.

He says “the Word without a word. The eternal word not able to speak a word.’ Just as our wounds are healed by His stripes so our loss for words to express our fears, our guilt, and even our praise is redeemed and energized by His Spirit that takes up residence in the lives of followers of God. And in our incoherent silent anguish He speaks for us to Father.

T.S. Elliot takes up this thought in his work entitled
“Ash Wednesday”

If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word, the unstilled world still whirled
About the center of the silent Word.

Think of it, the eternal Word of God begins the redemption process by ‘speaking” silence. And He ends his ministry of redemption with the echo of His final words ringing in the silence – It Is Finished!

May the silence of our hearts be filled with the Spirit’s pleadings for us today.

Dr. Val

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