Friday, December 19, 2008
Luke 2 as a "Wordle"
"Wordle"s are word cloud pictures computer generated from any text according to a formula weighted by the number of times a word is used in a text. You can create your own Wordle at http://www.wordle.net (click here).
Just for fun I ran the Christmas story,Luke 2:1-12 (KJV), through the Wordle generator and got the "word cloud" you see in this post. What impressed me about it was how non-theological the whole thing appeared. No big words like redemption, reconciliation, expiation, justification, or even incarnation. Yet the whole message is the mystery of the incarnation--God coming down into a real world filled with place names, people's names, fear, joy, taxation, government, poverty, childbirth.
Kelly Fryer, in her book, Reclaiming the "L" Word, ("L" for Lutheran) tells a story in which a professor goes to the chalkboard, draws a big arrow pointing straight down, and says, "If you want to know what it is to be a Christian, and especially to be Lutheran, you better remember this: God comes down! God always comes down. He comes down whether we are rich or poor, white or Black, healthy or ill. God comes down because we cannot come up to Him." That' s what happened at Christmas. God came down into this Wordle -- or World-- because we could not come up.