Dwelling Among Us

In the beginning was the Word, the Gospel of John tells us, a Word without flesh. A word wields power, to heal, to hurt, to change, to condemn, to affirm. A word separates us from the animal kingdom. A word can civilize and uplift us. In the beginning. It is the beginning of 2009. We have a lot of words at the beginning of a year, called resolutions. We use big words, construct grand ideas, make huge promises. The words are going to make us different. The words are going to save us. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. Among us! Think of it! Our words must also be made flesh. Just as the second person of the Holy Trinity dwelt among us as one of us in order to redeem us, we must enflesh our words into actions. That is how words become real. To say ’I love you’, ’I’m sorry’, or ’I’ll try again’ is important, but without the flesh, without the meat, the phrases lose meaning. Words without flesh are like the Blues Brothers’ description of a "wish sandwich": "It’s the kind of sandwich where you have two slices of bread, and you WISH you had some meat. . . " Often my resolutions are wish sandwiches. The Word was with God. And with us. We follow a God who shares our humanity, who knows what it is like to love, to want, to ache, to succeed, to fail. We are guided by a God who understands both the hope and the emptiness of words. We are lifted up by a God who is not bound by flesh, but who has struggled with earthly fetters. The Word dwelt among us, and showed us how to dwell with God. To dwell with God - there’s a resolution. Valerie Schultz
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