In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jn 1:1

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Word.  Words.  Speaking words.  Writing words.  Reading words.

Essayist, scholar and literary critic George Steiner thought of reading as a “sacramental act for a secular age” for reading, as he contended, “mediates the only experience of holy presence we are likely to have in a disenchanted world.”

So records English Professor Roger Lundin in his very insightful and informative writing.

This Steiner observation got me to thinking: when those who would lead speak do they convey any inkling that they read?  No.  How about the endless parade of TV reporters and the gaggle of opinionated guests?  No.  How about the people you work with?  Live among?  Encounter in the swirl of everyday transactions – the lesser and the major?  No.  No.  No.

Likewise I ask: if the Word is critical to our understanding, to living – and we fail to read, how is it that we will know God, ourselves or live the life we are graciously given?

Is illiteracy not the enemy of God, self and life?  Can the illiterate and unread have anything useful to say?  Or are their voices a useless clanging, noise in the wind, that which drowns out life?

Yes, it is true that in the Gospel of John “Word” conveys not just the spoken word but the Logos – “the divine principle of reason that gives order to the universe and links the human mind to the mind of God.”  Ah, does this not make Word all the more important and bring us closer to Steiner’s point.  Without the capital “W” and small “w” word, can one come into being, into full being?  No, one cannot.

Think about it.  What is the Word/word to you?  Do you follow those without Word/word?  If so, is this not a prescription for discontent and disaster?

Again, from the first chapter of the Gospel of John:

What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Jn 1:3,4,5

The world lives in darkness.  This need not be.