Wednesday, March 28, 2007

An ecology of words

In the beginning was the Word…..In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and God said….Let there be light’.

Speech. Holy Word - the articulation of divine intention and purpose, ‘Let there be…’

Made in the image of God, we too speak, and what we say vibrates with possibility. Words call into existence, make possible, shape relationships, communicate meaning, become freighted with significance because once we speak, words are let loose. They cannot be recovered, unsaid, and their healing or hurt may have a long afterlife. Made in the image of God, we are wise if we listen not only to what God says, but to how God speaks; and if we pay attention to why God speaks.

When James tackles the fundamental spiritual disciplines he says little of contemplation, mystical joy rides, charismatic gifts – he speaks of wisdom, words, and therefore wise speaking and even wiser listening. James 3.1-12

Lord we all make many mistakes in our conversation.
The way we choose words and construct sentences,
which temper and tamper with truth;
The tone of voice, the pace of diction, the volume of our speaking,
communicating impatience and self-importance.

Lord forgive us when we use words as weapons to hurt others,
or as shields to hide behind when we are criticised:

Lord forgive us, when our words are arrogant and self serving,
when we would rather speak than listen,
and rather be seen and heard than seen and serving .

Lord, whose words called worlds into being,
Make our words creative and life-giving;

Lord whose words wrestled order our of chaos,
and whose words still speak light out of darkness:
Put words in our mouth that call chaos to account
That challenge injustice and defend the vulnerable,
So may we speak light out of darkness,
Through Jesus Christ, the Word,
and the Light of the world, Amen

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