Some five hundred years before the birth of Christ a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus, from the city of Ephesus in Asia Minor, made “logos” central to his philosophy. He used the term “logos” to describe the universal Law, or the principle that inherently ordered the cosmos and regulated its phenomena.
Accordingly, he proposed that the world is ordered, guided, and unified by a rational structure, a single divine law, which he calls the "logos".
Image by Avery Fan
By Steve Hall
We don't really think about it, but the fact is that every time we open our mouths to speak, we are offering the listener a piece of ourselves. Not a piece in the sense of an arm or a leg; but rather a piece of who we are or what kind of person we are. Our words are always a revelation. Some pieces we don't mind giving away. For example: We are quite comfortable talking to others about a football game, or the food at a Japanese restaurant, or the animals at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. We find it agreeable to talk about our children, something humorous that we observed or a tragedy we saw on the highway
Even at this very simple level we are offering the listener a bit of ourselves: I speak of the football game and my listener may assume I'm at least a moderate sports fan. I talk about the great sushi at Fusion Japan and my listener turns the conversation to places where he's experienced good sushi. Why? Because he believes he knows something about MY taste in food. I elaborate on a trip to the zoo and reveal myself as someone interested in animals.
But let's go a bit deeper.
When I talk about my children, I'm offering my listener an insight into what is important to me - in relationships, in family, in life. When I bring up a funny story or relate the details of an highway accident, my listener may learn something of what makes me happy or sad or even fearful. I share something of my character. I knowingly or unknowingly offer it to them. We instinctively know this; that is why we are sometimes cautious when mixing with a group of strangers.
All of you have offered others something of your own personhood—what makes you a unique individual. And they have offered the same to you. We do this without realizing it, without even thinking about it, that is, until there is something we don't want others to know. That's why we instinctively reserve some conversations for those to whom we are closest. A spouse or a good friend. That is also why we can feel so betrayed when a friend shares that special revelation with an outsider. It was our very self that had been offered and we believed we had presented it to someone we could trust.
But not every word we speak reveals our true self. We don't want it to. We bite our tongue rather than tell the boss what we really think. We compliment our wife, the chef, even when we can barely swallow. We cover our true opinion because we don't want others to think less of us. We may even hesitate to reveal our faith for fear of derision and scorn. Moreover, oftentimes we are like Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady. Our words present us, maybe intentionally, maybe not, as something we're not. Our thoughts, our opinions, our joys, our sorrows, our dreams and our hopes—all of these we share with others by our words.
Some five hundred years before the birth of Christ a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus, from the city of Ephesus in Asia Minor, made “logos” central to his philosophy. He used the term “logos” to describe the universal Law, or the principle that inherently ordered the cosmos and regulated its phenomena. Accordingly, he proposed that the world is ordered, guided, and unified by a rational structure, a single divine law, which he calls the "logos". That ancient Greek word can be translated as: word, principle, sentence, reason, rationality. The “logos” is not the material out of which everything else arose; it is the origin of all things insofar as it is the arrangement of all matter. We commonly translate “logos” as “word.” Is it any wonder, then, that John would appropriate the term in his opening to his Gospel.
The letter to the Hebrews opens with these words:
“In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the ages.”
Jesus instructed his disciples, telling them:
"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.”
And even further, he tells them of his ultimate origin:
“For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.”
Whenever God has spoken to us He has revealed, He has offered Himself. He tells us that he is One who cares for us. He tells us that he is One who is there for us. He tells us that he wants us to be with him, to be close to him. And, unlike us, who occasionally play the part of the flower girl turned princess—unlike us who sometimes present a flawed image of ourselves through the words we choose—God's Word is always true.
We find his word in scripture. Frequently it sounds like we are just reading a story of an ancient people. Think again. This is God's Word. He is telling us about himself. He wanted so much to have a relationship with us that it was not sufficient for us to discover him through his word. The written word that he gave us in Scripture. No! That was not enough! God so loved us that he sent his only son. And the Word, his Word, became flesh. And the son so loved us that he gave his life for the world. This is what John is talking about as he begins his gospel account. "In the beginning . . .”
So now we know! In his word of holy scripture, in the Word who is his Son, God offers those who will receive it a 'part' of himself. In Jesus, his son, he holds nothing in reserve. God offers to us all of himself.
What are we going to do with that gift?