The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?”39 He said to them, “Come and see.”… 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). John 1: 1, 35-42”
Listen to: Casting Crowns "Just Be Held"
One of my favorite end-of-the-year pastimes is hearing about new words that have officially become a part of the English family. These ten hopefuls from Mirriam-Webster caught my attention:
Precariment (noun): precarious predicament
Laughocate (verb): to laugh so hard you feel like you are going to suffocate
Deloonious (adjective): being in a state of mind in between delirious and loony.
Famazing(adjective) : more than just amazing, freaking amazing
Fleek: stylish: flawless: perfect
Irrannoy (verb): to annoy and irritate
Confuzzle(verb): to confuse someone
Snirt (noun): a mix of snow and dirt
Chillable (adjective): being a person, place, or thing inclined to give relaxation or comfort
And of course, who hasn’t received an:
Eminder (noun): an e-mail reminder
Words. The development of symbolic and ever-growing language and creative communication is one of the crowning points of humankind. All living species communicate – but the depth and level of abstraction that humanity has achieved makes our language unique – and allows us, as a species, to continue to evolve.
The first words spoken in the Scriptures are God’s: “let there be light,” (Gen. 1:3). Throughout the Bible God is not depicted as a silent, remote deity; but a God who speaks, guides, enters into covenant, judges and saves. It is in Jesus, whose birth season we celebrate through January 6 (Epiphany), we are told is “God with us” (Matt. 1:23) and “the Word made flesh” (John 1:1). Early in his ministry Jesus himself was named by the prophet John and his first disciples, “Lamb of God,” (the one who bears the sins of the world and shows the path of forgiveness); Rabbi (teacher -- someone who I can learn from and who I can bring my doubts and questions to), and Messiah (anointed one -- the one with moral authority and right to serve; the one who will show the path to true freedom and salvation).
It is said that there are over 900 names and titles of God in the Scriptures. Islam has 99 revered names for God; Hinduism have hundreds as well. I imagine most faiths face the quandary: Naming the Unnamable. Human language could never capture the Infinite no matter how hard we try.
For Christians, Jesus, the Word of God, allowed himself to be contained-in-word-and-flesh in order to be comprehended by the human mind and heart. His teachings give us the language of love and the semantics of justice/faith in community. It is the life-death-rising example of Jesus that gives us the nomenclature of right living in all phases of our days. Jesus recreated language of caring, forgiving and compassion that turns our traditional faith on its head.
As much as we also treasure and esteem the Scriptures, which are also called the word of God, we call to mind the instructions of Christian writer C.S. Lewis who reminds us “It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to Him. We must not use the Bible as a sort of encyclopedia out of which texts can be taken for use as weapons.” http://www.quoteland.com/author/CS-Lewis-Quotes/839/
So by all means, let us read and study the Bible. Make is a priority in 2016. However, let us read the Bible as we listen and follow the Word of God, Jesus, daily, in the New Year. Just see how famazing life can be as a result. Don’t worry, eminders will follow!
Prayer: God who Speaks Life into Being: In this New Year, give us the grace to read your word, to follow your Word, and create a new word in this world. Amen.