Monday, September 29, 2014

Sacred Text

One of the things that makes us different from other creatures is our ability to use language. It is true that lots of creatures have ways of communicating with one another that we have yet to fully comprehend or appreciate. But no other creature possesses the complicated and symbolic forms of language that we use.

There are anthropologists who think that it is our ability with symbolic language that enabled humanity to survive and evolve. Basically, they say that because we can communicate about things that aren't right in front of us we were able to share with one another what is beyond the horizon, what animals are there and what was safe to eat.

Eventually, humans started talking about how things came to be. And immediately we started using language to express those thoughts. Every kind of language was used, from prose to poetry. Our religious expressions took on many forms and were not limited to language. We started expressing ourselves and our spiritual journey in music and song and dance; in stories and prayer and art. We even built great cathedrals and simple churches and said each one was an expression of our desire to glorify God in all that we do. In these ways we said prayers with tools as diverse as pipe organs and protractors.

Today we could even consider using whatever is close at hand, like our smart phones to send God a sacred text message expressing our thoughts, questions, hopes and fears – our prayers (in other words). Don't expect a text message back of course, but imagine what God might say, what God might text back. We glorify God in all sorts of ways and with all kinds of prayers. Even our text messages can be sacred – a prayer to our creator.

1 comment:

Tom White-Hassler said...

And from what I have been reading, it was the development of human language that paved the way for the development of formal logic, yet another differentiator of humans from other animals.