It has often been said that a word is worth a thousand pictures. While pictures give us a broad view, they rarely provide sufficient context to interpret the events they portray. Contextual ambiguity is the bane of all graphics. Beauty and meaning in visual art is in the eye of the beholder.
Though not perfect, words are more capable of precision than pictures, logos, and cultural icons. Nowhere is this seen more dramatically than in the iconoclasm that has gripped our society regarding statues and monuments. As 3-D pictures, the meaning of statues is often ambiguous. One says statues communicate hate while another argues that they express heritage. Both assertions are bound to have a grain of truth. Because a person’s legacy is as complex as the life they lived and will mean very different things to those who live on different sides of that legacy. Unreasoned division is the peril of any society that expresses itself in icons and not in language, moving from the typographic to the pictographic.
In Genesis 23 we read of the death of Sarah. Abraham grieves his wife’s death and makes provision for her burial. In so doing, he acquires the only property he will ever own out-right in the land of Canaan. Yet in providing a burial place for Sarah, he erects a lasting monument to God’s covenant promises and faithfulness – a monument which stood to remind the patriarchs of the unbreakable power of God’s Word. This monument still stands today. For monuments to have enduring meaning, they must direct us to the clarity of words.
What lasting monuments are you erecting to God’s covenant promises and faithfulness? How clearly do the monuments in your life call future generations to follow Christ and believe His promises? How effective are the monuments of your life or death at directing others to The Word?
Join us this Lord’s Day, August 27, as we examine the account of the death of Sarah and Abraham’s concern for a lasting witness to God’s covenant promises through provision of a burial place for her. We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions.
Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.