By Michael P. Howard, M.A.
The first move is the "Word from God." The Word from God is God's revelatory message to his people from sacred scripture. God breathed into the writers his Spirit many years ago, and it is God's Spirit that speaks to us both in word and deeds today. St. Paul said, "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work" (2 Tm. 3:16). Moreover, because we belong to God, we hear from God through the scriptures. It is the promise of Jesus from God that said he would never leave us nor forsake us when the storms are dark in our lives. God's deeds are seen through nature as well as the psalmist talked about how heaven has declared his glory, or that the earth and sun proclaimed God's majesty day by day, night by night. Therefore, from Genesis to now, through word and deeds, the Word from God calls Christians day by day to carve out time to hear from God (2 Tm. 2:15).
The next move of God's word is our confession of faith, "Word about God." Remember it was St. Jerome, who said, "Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Jesus." How can someone confess to God if they are ignorant of scripture? St. Paul said, "no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit" (1Cor. 12:3). In the book of Acts, it was evident that the Jewish high priests lacked knowledge of Jesus when they tried to perform an exorcist by invoking the name of the Lord. One priest's prayer included Jesus and Paul's name. Unfortunately, though, the priest's prayer lacked a personal understanding of scripture that infuses one's faith.
Consequently, the evil spirit replied, "Jesus I recognize, Paul, I know, but who are you" (Acts 19:15). Subdued by the evil spirit, the entire clan of priests teaches that "copycat faith" is "cheap faith." The old folks taught, "You cannot make it to heaven hanging on to their faith." Nevertheless, when studying and meditating on God's Word in our hearts (Ps. 19:14), when someone asks us "about" God's word, are we ready to explain our reason for the hope of glory (1 Pt. 3:15). You know "about" God's word because you heard from God, here your faith emerges, and you then confess what you believe "about" God.
Our last movement is "the Word to God." We pray to God. We worship God. We give thanks for his glory because he revealed to us from his "word and deeds" that he is always present. It's through his faithfulness that we tell everyone that we live because he lives in us. This movement also assists us morally as we give witness that God has called us to live by the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). In essence, having a little talk with Jesus, our "Word to God" will make everything all right.
It is important to note here that these three movements of God's word should not be separated from each other. They are like the legs on a tripod that holds a camera steady. These three movements hold us together, providing a balance to our spirituality, allowing us to continue to mature in our faith. No one should view these three movements in some chronological order as well. One could be praying with the "Word to God," and God could remind someone of a passage, or they may attend a Liturgy and hear a reading "Word from God," and then later, they express why they have faith "Word about God."
Therefore, when one eats the scroll and taste the honey from God's Word, they will savor its sweetness. The "Holy Word" is tasty because it's about God, and God desires that you and I come to him when the storms of life bring us down or our hearts are restless. He will give us rest. It is at this point that we give God thanksgiving for his word. Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as the Word "from" "about" and "to" God lives in us.