Devotion in Motion: Wordly Wise

1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God.  John 1:1-2 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

Last Sunday, something funny happened while our missionary friends from Ukraine, Sasha and Regina Kyrylov, were visiting. We were all watching TV when the ad for the new Chipmunks movie came on. On that commercial, Alvin is very pleased about something, and in his happiness shouts “Boo-Yow!” Upon hearing this, Sasha cringed a bit, then smiled slightly, closed his eyes, and shook his head.

When we asked Sasha about his reaction, he explained that in the Ukrainian dialect that he grew up speaking, “Boo-Yow” is quite a naughty thing to say. We never got him to tell us what “Boo-Yow” means in Ukrainian, but he did share that if a small child shouted it, his parents would probably beat him.

Sasha wanted to know what “Boo-Yow” means in English. I told him that it is a phrase that you shout in your opponent’s face after you make an awesome 3-point-shot. Perhaps it carries with the idea, “Boo to you!  I just made such a good play that it probably scared you!” At any rate, it isn’t a curse word. “Boo-Yow” always means that something wonderful has happened.

Clearly, in different human languages, words don’t always mean the same thing. But this is not the case in God’s language. In today’s Gospel lesson (at the top), St. John describes Jesus as The Word that was sent by the Father. God sent His Son into the world to tell us what He is like. If you want to know what God is like, well, just look at Jesus.

In a world of complicated words and changing meanings, it’s good to know that God’s words are universal. To every Christian, “Christmas” means “Jesus”. And in every language, “Jesus” means “Love”.

From our house to your house, the blessings of the season. May the love of the Father rest on you and yours. God has sent his Son to be our Saviour. The best thing possible has happened. Boo-Yow. And Merry Christmas.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” * He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his 25th year of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi.  He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 15) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the family has resolved not to shout “Boo-yow” if they ever visit the Ukraine). You should write him at