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The Word of God - what does it mean?

From Resource booklet No. 8


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 came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

John 1



The Word of God is a living and active power, a timeless moment at which, in our own time and space, we can meet the living God. God expresses himself in his revealed Word and continues to act through it. The Word is both recorded truth and our moment of truth – both truth about God and the place where we meet God personally.

Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord

Deuteronomy 8.3

We are verbivores, a species that lives on words

Steven Pinker



The Lord has hidden all his treasures in his Word, so that each of us should find something rich in what we contemplate. . . . Having acquired something rich ourselves, we do not suppose there can be nothing else in the Word of God besides what we ourselves have found. On the contrary, we realize we have only been able to discover one thing among many others. Having been enriched by the Word, we do not imagine the Word has been impoverished thereby; unable to exhaust its riches, we give thanks for its immensity. So rejoice that you have been filled, but do not grieve over the fact that the riches of the Word are more than you can absorb.

Ephraim the Syrian


Jesus did not give us dead words
for us to salt away in little tins
(or big ones),
for us to preserve in rancid oil.
Jesus Christ, my girl,
did not give us word-pickles to keep.
No, he gave us living words to feed…
The words of life,
the living words can only be preserved alive…
On us, weak creatures of flesh, it depends
to keep these words uttered alive in time alive,
to feed them and keep them alive in time.
Mystery of mysteries,
we have been given this privilege,
this excessive, unbelievable privilege,
of preserving the words of life alive...
We are called to feed the word of the Son of God.
Oh penury, oh calamity,
it falls to our Lot,
our duty it is, on us it depends
to make it heard forever and ever,
to make it ring out. . .


Charles Péguy




The Spirit must scream
Plummet down
Like a bird of prey
And sit fierce
Talons clenched
In your bleeding lips
And your words become
His Word
And his Word become
Your words
That your speech
Dead in the agony of self
Might be resurrected
In self-extinction.

John Leax




The Word of God is the vital sustenance of the soul; it feeds it, pastures it, and guides it; nothing can keep the human soul alive except the Word of God.

Ambrose

The word is the Verb, and the Verb is God.

Victor Hugo

A word is a label. But when used as a metaphor, a word explodes, comes alive – it starts moving.

Eugene Peterson

God doesn‘t impose a meaning on my life from the outside; I am called to create one from within, with him, a meaning which reflects his truth and makes me his ‘word’ spoken freely in my personal situation.

Thomas Merton





Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.

TS Eliot, Ash Wednesday



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