Words Create Worlds
Notes from the pastor
Read Genesis 1:1–2:4a, and Matthew 28:16–20
Words create worlds. They affect us when people speak well of us, and sometimes even more so when people speak ill of us. God’s words, conversely, have created the world we inhabit, all that we see and don’t see. And brilliantly, we have been fashioned in God’s image and likeness, as Genesis tells us. That means our words also have the power to create. For example, watch the world turn upside down when someone says, “I love you” or “You make me so proud” or “I’ll never trust you again” or “It’s malignant” or “We’re having a baby.” For good or ill, words create worlds that we have to navigate carefully in order to live and thrive and overcome.
In our day misinformation and fake news culture rule the day, and so our words matter very much. The words we trust shape us. The words we speak alter the world we inhabit, the reality we understand. They wound. They judge. They divide. Sometimes, the truth is, we get lost in the headlines, lost in the many words of our chatty world, and we miss the word of God meant to shape our life: Jesus Christ. This Word, this enfleshed God, speaks life and dignity into every person, a word of salvation and of hope, a word to pull us together and heal us into unity.
Notice how carefully God speaks as the world unfolds, the rhythm: “Then God said, ‘Let there be…and it was so’…And God saw that it was good…there was evening and morning…” Each part of creation carries within it the DNA of relationship, the imprint of God’s grace, and all of it to God’s delight. And when it comes to us — humans, that is — God reveals something very special. “Let us create humanity in our image to resemble us…” There’s something about God’s self-identifier that speaks to the divine mystery of who God is as Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit. “Let us…” As Trinity, God is inseparable in the work of creating and loving and redeeming. Beneath everything we know and think we know about God lies this hidden communion that defines all life. Everything exists in relation to something else, atom to atom, person to person, galaxy to galaxy. All life has been patterned after the in-folding love God shares as Trinity.
And so God’s words create a particular world, one Jesus reminds us that is filled with God reconciling and healing its brokenness. And in that holy endeavor, Jesus calls us to be partners: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I’ve commanded you. Look, I will be with you always until the end of this present age.” Words create worlds. And Jesus’s words send the disciples into the world not as solo believers, or individuals struggling through life alone, but as a community, baptized in the name of the Trinity. You are not alone; your words are not uttered in isolation; your actions affect many. You exist in relation to a community of believers in God’s world.
May our words join God’s and take on flesh in the healing of this world. 
- Pastor Patrick
Last Published: April 25, 2018 9:19 AM
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