I was reading in Eugene Peterson’s book Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places yesterday and came across a part where he tied God’s act of creation through word to Christ the Word in John 1. This started a flow of thoughts of my own about God being Word. John writes, “The Word was with God and the Word was God.” The BIble often describes God as being _____ fill in the blank: love, good, just…and here Word. I often have thought of language as a creation of God, certainly there is room for this in that at Babel new languages for humankind were created. However, language is made of words and God is Word which makes me think that language as the category is not a creation but the essence of God. What does this mean about God? How do we see God using Word?
First, he creates. When we see God being the Word that creates all things that are, it expands our understanding of God’s providence maintaining the existence and function of creation. It shows how creation partakes in God, but I want to be careful to not take this too far and run into error toward pantheism in which God is in creation. God only entered in creation in the incarnation of Jesus–Jesus is the only creation that can be called God, which leads to a second way God uses language.
Jesus uses language to reveal the way to God–to communicate salvation. He is the Word Creator in creation using words to convey to his creations the truth of God. God expresses himself in creation, he makes man in his image by giving him language, and uses that language to draw his creation back to himself, the source. We see God, as the pure language, create through language humans with a lesser language, then in Jesus, pure language is in creation using the lesser language to communicate to created humans the way to perfect communication and communion with the God Creator. Language is part of the whole circle of God’s relationship with his created humans. It shows how God takes himself and gives to us. I think this is helping me understand in a new way how Christ who is God saving created humans through himself has always been at work. For now this is how I read John 1.