John 1:14

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

The Word.

As I sat listening to my favorite (and most handsome) pastor preach one morning, I was struck with the enormity of how John renders the Gospel in that one verse above.

Have you ever thought about how we use words? Language influences what and how we think and do things. Like, why do I like to work out? Because I was told it was good for me, and watched other female athletes talk and walk the walk of fitness as I grew up. I admired (and wanted to be like) them. While fitness is a nice and maybe worthy endeavor, my pastor* reminded us how the world’s words, tainted by sin, are full of half-truths, some are blatant lies and most are just plain selfish. Health and wealth is never the ultimate prize in this world. Yet we hurt and slander our neighbors, those closest to us, because we believe the world’s false promises of a better life with these achievements, so we try to get ahead and preserve ourselves. Yet even that, self-preservation, is a farce. Apart from Christ, we are not preserved. In fact, we should just strike that word from the dictionary as non-existent. Like autonomy and individualism. Erm, I digress . . .

Further, these godless words tear families apart. They construct golden calves where they need not be. No children? Not enough children? If we just take care of this medically… We buy into cultural and selfish desires of our own making, and justify them with words that have nothing to do with God. We’re going to a fertility specialist. After three kids, I’m done. I was meant to have this size (whatever it is) family. And whether we get our ways or not, we like to live in our own little worlds that avoid a connection to the Truth that’s outside of ourselves. We become our own little gods. But that gets old, lonely and scary quick since, well, we’re not God.

But . . .there’s good news.

Even in the midst of our folly, Jesus, the living Word, pierces through and yet mends our forked tongues and minds. He places on us the perfect Word, enacted and strengthened by the Holy Spirit through preaching, baptism and the Lord’s Supper by pastors, so that we might hear, touch, taste and repeat this Word to ourselves and neighbors. That anyone ever receives faith at all is because of it. And we live in this Word baptismally, through service to others, daily, and as God has rightly called us in our various vocations.

By God’s grace this Word enables us to repent, be served heaps of forgiveness so that we may humbly serve and reconcile to our loved ones… since we are sure to have caused them offense, knowingly or not. Apart from Christ, our words and works stink. They do nothing for anyone’s eternal well-being. But THEE Word and His work does. By becoming flesh, dying and rising again, this Word saves and brings us eternal life. Moreover, we get to receive and confess this very Word weekly in Divine Service with our one true family in Christ. Thanks be to the Word Incarnate!

*If the reader didn’t catch on, my pastor is my husband.  No scandals outside of Christ crucified here, folks.