Ok, ok, fine! Words are important! But… what does that even mean?
So here’s what this means for our lives now:
At the beginning, Genesis 1:2 says the world was “formless and empty” (or “Tohu Bohu” as I posted a while back). In the Bible, Tohu Bohu is bad. So when Genesis 1:2 says the world was formless and empty, it’s telling us that things weren’t ok. They needed to be ordered and shaped according to God’s will. Throughout the rest of Genesis 1, God uses his words to order and shape things towards Shalom.
God’s plan in creation is to take things that are vague and undifferentiated and give them shape: From formlessness to fleshiness; from disintegration to incarnation.
As a result of the fall and the ongoing sin of people, the world spent the next several thousand years in a tug of war between “Tohu Bohu” and Shalom. Christ’s entrance (as “the Word”) into the world was the “D-Day” of this battle. It was an invasion of enemy territory, and the turning point of all turning points in the battle between Tohu Bohu and Shalom.
As the story of Pentecost teaches us, the next stage of this battle is our responsibility. We are called to embody Christ and continue God’s re-shaping and re-ordering of creation, to eliminate Tohu Bohu once and for all. Jesus’ incarnation was the beginning of the New Creation: God once again used his words (“The Word”/Logos) to eliminate chaos. We are called to continue the advancement of this New Creation. And – as all of my examples up to this point show – one of the primary ways that we do this is through our words.
So now you know: Every word you utter takes something that is undefined within you, and makes it solid, mirroring what God did when he shaped the world in Genesis 1. And so, your words are weapons in the cosmic battle between Tohu Bohu and Shalom.