Very Rev Sean Dooley PP
Tel: (041) 9838520
Email: seandooleyfriesian@btconnect.com
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WORDS ARE REAL AND DO THINGS

Words are real and do things

In one episode of the old Seinfeld TV show, George is thinking about saying “I love you” to a woman he’s going out with. Jerry cautions him that that’s a big step — because if you say “I love you” and don’t get an “I love you” in return, what then? “That’s a pretty big matzo ball hanging out there,” George’s friend reminds him.

If you know anything about that series, you know that, as funny as it could be, you didn’t usually get profound religious insights from it. But in this case, that exchange really does tell us something important: Words are real and words do things. If you say, “I love you” — or for that matter, “I hate you” — those words are “out there” and can’t be called back. In the book of Genesis, once Jacob had tricked his father Isaac out of the blessing meant for his brother, Isaac couldn’t call those words of blessing back even after he realized his mistake.

And words that have been spoken aren’t just passively “out there.” They are active and change things. A relationship can’t stay the same after powerful words are spoken. Think of the effects that words like Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech can have.
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