This Advent season I’m writing daily about how words matter. I first thought of the power of words, which can bring life and death to others (as the Biblical proverb). I then stumbled across the phrase of the philosopher Nietzsche who said that words can turn the world upside down (his sure have). Both statements held within the Christmas phrase of the gospel of John which says that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, or moved into our neighborhood (as Eugene Peterson translates it).
In our day of frank speech and fake news, slander, and precision, we struggle with words – how they hurt others, deform reality, or shape reality, inspire and give hope, or land flat. The essence of the incarnation, the foundation behind the Christmas Story – God becoming like us so that we might become more like God – is one of a word that is spoken, heard, or unheard, responded to, or avoided. So throughout the four weeks of Advent, I’ll post daily on a word, reflecting on how words matter in our lives of faith, our personhood and in our life together as a polis (city – from where we get the word politics).
I’ll aim to post daily on my blog or on my facebook page.