On his sermon today, Kak Budi rightly said that our words have power (cf. Luther: ‘The printed Word has power’). It did, it does, and it will ever be, since we are created in the image of God and we believe in God who is not silent, but in the One who speaks. Indeed, we believe that the Word of God is not merely an attribute of God, but, in the words of Apostle John, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Joh 1.1). The form of God’s self-communication is (at least, highly inter-related with) the content of it. Consequently, as the Word of God shares in the very identity of God, our words truly reflects who we are. This is the trinitarian basis of our words.
And the Word of our God stands forever. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever. It goes out from God’s mouth and it shall not return to him empty. It shall accomplish and succeed in the thing for which he sent it (Isa 40.8, 55.11). The Word is not a mere speech, but a speech-act[-being]. It accomplishes something when it is spoken. It is, indeed, the very Word of God. And our words (and our being) can’t be separated from the Word. The Word has become flesh and dwelt among us (Joh 1.14). God has united himself with us through his Word. Hence, our words derived their significance, authority, and power from the Word himself. And this is the Christological basis of our words.
And it explains why tongue (and the appropriate use of it) is highly important in the New Testament. There is no neutrality in our words. They carry either death or life. I particularly was strucked by a passage from the epistle of James which I read a few days ago: “If you think you are being religious, but can’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and everything you do is useless.” (Jam 1.26) As servants of our Lord who are called to faithfully exercise the power of our words, then, may our words be used not to bring death, but to breathe life. In the words of Apostle Paul, may they be seasoned with salt that they will give grace to those who hear them (Col 4.6, Eph 4.29).