Sammie and I, along with K.G. and her mom and dad, were enjoying an after-church meal at the Marina Grill, in Wilmington, North Carolina.
crab dip and clam chowder plus strawberry waffles, chicken and gravy biscuits, bacon, coffee and all. It was delectable, to use one of K.G.’s “big words.”
The night before she had dropped the bomb, “ideosyncracy.” So, while we munched on brunch, I threw out a question for the birthday girl who turned 8 the day before. “Can you tell me some more ‘big words.’ Katie Grace?”
“Well there’s hastily, which means with excessive speed or ungency. And vanishing, which means disappearing suddenly and completely. Then there’s solemnly, purbred, scramble, distinct, determined, and meek.”
“What does it mean to be meek?” asked Nahnee.
So we took a moment to discuss meekness and humility, both from the views of a third grader and some adults...with a touch of scripture added.
Words are so important. They are the building blocks of verbal and written communication among humans. Most words have different meanings and can be used in lots of ways. They can be easily misunderstood and can lead to disagreements - or they can clarify thoughts, emotions, gestures, or motives. Words can start wars or be used to establish peace treaties.
Words shared between people are of extreme importance, but words from God to people are, obviously, of much more powerful significance.
Before gathering for a midday meal around the table overlooking the Cape Fear River, we had attended services at St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church - K.G.’s and Shannon’s church. During the morning worship hour, the church had presented new Bibles to several third graders, including our precious granddaughter. Included in the ceremony was the quotation from Psalms 119 of the verse which includes these words: “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
All of that Psalm talks about the Word of God and uses many different words to describe the Word - such as “law,” “precepts,” “commandments,” “testimonies,” “rules,” “statutes” and, of course, “word.”
John’s Gospel begins with the words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him...in him was life...the light of men...shining in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it...and the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory...the Son of God.”
While we were talking about words - and The Word - in Wilmington, our youngest Nash grandchild, James David, was in Hopewell, Virginia. The children’s department of Woodlawn Baptist Church, in Hopewell, was presenting God’s Word by means of a musical drama called “Down By The Creekbank.” It’s been around a long time. His mother and aunts had sung and acted in the same drama when they were kids.
The Message can be presented in many ways: written word, spoken word, sung, or dramatized. Sometimes He speaks to us through the lives of others, like grandchildren. What matters is whether or not it agrees with His Word and whether or not we heed His Word.
Our words are important. God’s Word is vital. Living. Written. Spoken. Sung. Exemplified. Is His Word a lamp to your feet? Does it light your path?
--Steve Playl is a columnist, college instructor, former pastor, and hospital chaplain.