When words are not enough…

The profundity of silence as expressed by Ronan Keating in his song “when you say nothing at all”, when his mums cancer rendered her unable to speak, but could not rob her of the power to communicate, which is do much more than words.

In the books of Romans  Paul talks of communicating with God eith groans to deep for words…

Sometimes in those moments, either joy or pain, words can’t adequately express what you are feeling, and sometimes when you encounter people at these times there literally is nothing you can say.

Hardly surprising that when Almighty God encounters ordinary human-beings, like you and me, struggle to express this in words (maybe why books like Ezekial, Daniel and Revelation are so weird as they are trying to capture the uncapturable in words!).

Perhaps that is why all the way through the bible people are doing prophetic and symbolic acts, as images and pictures capture things in a way words don’t?

Naaman learned about Gods greatness and might through the symbolic and miraculous action in the river Jordan, but also challenged his heart and taught him about humility.

Yet when at the end of the story Naaman takes a couple of donkey loads of earth back to his homeland so he could Ŵorship the God of Israel, was him responding to God.

Perhaps too this is why God gave the Jewish people the rite of sacrifice and circumcision?

Or why Christ gave us Christians baptism and communion, symbolic acts pregnant with meaning and imagery.

Expressing the inexpressible, true we can all do great sermons around these, but rather like the old joke about the old can of tuna, there is always a bit more in the corner of the can…

However long or indept we preach about baptism or communion we never get to the end of Gods goodness to us.

The problem is we try to explain things with words or liturgies, and tradition around the main event, and we don’t let them speak for themslves…

Often faith has become something purely cerebral, but I think that we need to be captivated by the gospel afresh in a way that speaks into our heart, as we respond to God in ways beyond our speaking or even our comprhension.

A vase of what scripture calls “deep calling out to deep!”

Let’s not be afraid to allow God to speak, rather than us trying to speak for God, after all God can’t be domesticated, let’s not be afraid of real ordinary people encountering the real and extraordinary God.


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