21.12.10

Sign and signifier

I am interested in semiotics and grammar. I like language and how it acts as symbol and there is always this interpretative gap between the language we use and the reality of what we are describing. With Jesus there is no gap. He is the Word. I like it how God is the most powerful verb in the universe: I am. The infinitive - to be. Is. Are. Exists. So God is reality. Ours is only 3D and his is infinitum D. It kind of blows your mind.

We think we know. We think we are so clever, we only see 3. We only have 5 senses. There are actually so many more lying dormant which I think the Holy Spirit can awaken. So it's really pretty cool being a Christian, isn't it? God speaks the word and the Word is a person. Jesus is the performed speech act. He is the Word manifest, incarnated, enfleshed.

We are asked to be living signs and we are to point to the actual sign, Jesus, who points to himself and says I AM

I AM GOD
I AM REALITY
I AM THE ULTIMATE HUMAN
I AM

No gap.
No distance.
No interpretation.

We are called also to interpret the signs of the times. What will 2011 bring I wonder and how might God speak into those times?

And when we also use language as sign and symbol like we do with the Eucharist, the breaking of bread, the sipping of wine, we come close again to this space where there is less gap, where sign and symbol and reality do something different. This is a liminal and a timeless space, something unchanging, forever remembering. This is a performative speech act. It has a meaning in faith that it cannot have without faith.

We are called also to keep preaching this word against all the odds, in the face of rebuff and criticism and aggressive atheism and non-belief, holding on to its foolishness that defies the wisdom of the world, knowing that this wisdom, this logos, this Word, this Jesus Christ came to his people and dwelt amongst them and they did not even recognise him and so we should not be surprised if they still do not recognise him now, in the noise and with the distractions, with the tinsel and the glitter.

And so my prayer is that you might find Jesus this Christmas, that he might become more real to you than the reality you have carved out for yourself or you might at least give him a place within the reality that he has in fact given as a gift to you. He might be where you least expect to find him, call on him and you might just find yourself harbouring a patience you never know you could muster with those relatives over the Christmas dinner table, dwell upon him a little and you might just find you face the New Year a little more hope-filled, think upon him and you might see that what you have is gift and where you struggle, he has gone before you and knows how you are feeling. At least listen for him as you sing your Christmas carols, it is probably very likely that he is calling you by name.

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