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Monday, June 25, 2007
Word Bearing
I attended a Doctrinal Symposium for my denomination a couple of weeks ago. It was an enjoyable event. I like those kind of theological exercises. The event was set up where some of the Wesleyan Church Scholars presented papers on the subject of Ecclesiology. All of the papers were excellent. One, however, has been sticking with me. It was a paper on the role of the Pastor as "Word Bearer", and it was presentedy by Dr. Joe Dongell of Asbury Theological Seminary. You can read the article HERE.

With this idea of "Word Bearing" bumping around in my head, I just recieved a Henri Nouwen ELetter that had this to say:

Words That Create Community.
The word is always a word for others. Words need to be heard. When we give words to what we are living, these words need to be received and responded to. A speaker needs a listener. A writer needs a reader. When the flesh - the lived human experience - becomes word, community can develop. When we say, "Let me tell you what we saw. Come and listen to what we did. Sit down and let me explain to you what happened to us. Wait until you hear whom we met," we call people together and make our lives into lives for others. The word brings us together and calls us into community. When the flesh becomes word, our bodies become part of a body of people.

So What does it mean to be a word bearer?

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posted by Ben Thomas @ 10:27 AM  
  • At 6/25/2007 5:21 PM, Blogger Miles said…

    Well, just as that eLetter said, when the human experience becomes word, community develops. I think when this happens, the image of an invisible God appears to others around us.

    My friend Matthew, has a song on his record called "Lay it on down" and the last verse says this:

    " Preacher put down your Bible,
    Lay it on down.
    Preacher what we need is more than words.
    We know what the Good Book tells us, so lay it on down.
    Preacher can you show me how it works? "

    I see the same result in this song as what the eletter is saying. A life lived for Christ and a life being transformed into more of an image of Christ says something very profound to folks around us. Couple that with a foundation in the Word and one has something that others just have to inquire about.

    I think that's what being a "word bearer" may look like. I also think it's the hardest thing ever to do. :)

  • At 6/26/2007 9:41 AM, Blogger ben said…

    Good stuff Josh.
    Our understanding of word has always been, the written word of the Bible, when I believe the Bible itself calls something else "the Word", or should I say someone else. Jesus is the Word, and it is only through him being lived out in the community of believers, through the instruction of the word (little "w") and the power of the Holy Spirit, can we be Word (big "W") bearers.

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