Friday, January 23, 2009

the reality of words

In the beginning was the Word.

I'm by no means the first to note that Barack Obama is very adept at putting words together.

In her gift of words at the inauguration, Elizabeth Alexander concluded: "In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun."

At work, a small group of colleagues is trying to come up with a few words that aptly describe the heart and soul of the campus--the nature of its culture and community.

At the beginning of the term, a professor reminded all the student leaders to "tend the talk" on campus because what we say defines our reality as much as reality grounds our talk.

But in the midst of these unsettling times, do words really matter? Do words change anything? Can talk really effect reality?

Elizabeth Alexander again: What if the mightiest word is love ... Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance."

I don't know if Obama's rhetoric will effect our reality. But these words surely do:

God is love.

In the beginning was the Word.

Indeed, the Word who is love is the alpha and omega of our reality.

Thanks be to God.

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