As we open to beginning pages of the book of Genesis, the words place before our eyes a drama of immense beauty: creation, day-by-day. As beautiful as they are, the majestic details of the story of creation—light, darkness, water, dry land, earth, sky—may actually hide from us the incredible simplicity and power of how this magnificent creation comes to be: “And God said ...and so it happened.” By a word, everything came to be. The word spoken by God creates and gives life to everything.
Although we find the idea of God “speaking” and creating somewhat amusing (“so much from so little”) or even “quaint,” our ancestors in faith would have been more familiar with such an idea. They had a stronger sense of the power of words, for good or for ill. We are more susceptible to believing that words are “cheap” (“Do it, don’t just say it.”) or at least quite weak (“I know that’s what you said, but . . . “). After all, even though life often teaches us otherwise, we still teach children to repeat: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Words don’t have much power, or so we think.
Words spoken, words creating . . . for good or for ill. How
will we “create” by our words today? How will our words “give life”
to those around us? Will we use our words to create goodness, to
build up others or will we choose to harm and to destroy?
The words of St. Paul come to mind: “Say only the good things others need to hear, things that will really help them.”
“God said . . . and so it happened . . . God saw how good it was.”
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