Peace before us...

Updated: Jun 5, 2018

April 27, 2018

I've long been fascinated by the fact that there's such a thing as a "performative statement."

According to good ole' Wikipedia, "performative statements or utterances are "sentences which are not only describing a given reality, but also changing the social reality they are describing."


In other words, there are certain sentences where the very act of saying them changes reality. 


Examples? 

Instances like, when the chair person of a meeting bangs the gavel and says, 

"The meeting is adjourned." 


Those aren't "just words" -- the very utterance of them (if they are spoken by the right person at the right time) actually accomplish something: they end the meeting! 


Other examples of words that actually DO something (again when spoken by the right person at the right time), 


"Play ball!" 

"You are under arrest." 

"I do." (Take this man/woman to be my husband/wife.) 

"I resign." 

"I accept your apology." 


And to us people of faith, we'd add things like, 

"Let there be Light." (What God said/did in creation, in Genesis)

"Be silent, and come out of him!" (What Jesus said/did to an evil spirit in Mark 1:25)


Here's what I invite you to think about/do now: 


Listen to a prayer, song or hymn (try  this YouTube video* and let the words be not merely words, but performative utterances for you, as you hear and sense 


Peace

before you, 

behind you, 

under your feet. 

Peace within you, 

over you.

Let all around us be Peace - (and the love and light of Christ).  


See you Sunday, 

John 


*song/hymn by contemporary composer David Haas, Copyright 1987, published by GIA Publications.

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