Words are wonderful: rearranging sounds, letters and syllables enables us to communicate with one another. Thoughtful use of the arrangements enables us to communicate clearly with one another. Yesterday on a friends Facebook status I noticed this: “It’s -10C here in Stuttgart and I just passed a teenage boy walking down the street eating an ice cream!”
The ambiguities of language mean that it is possible my friend was eating ice cream or the boy was eating ice cream. There are no other ambiguities in that sentence. Do not read any into it. Do not blame me if you see any.
As you may have realised if you are a regular bloggite here, I love the way that new words develop and enter our daily usage. The brilliant thing is that the vast majority of these new words all phrases are simply new ways of saying the same thing that we have said before. LOL (see what I mean!).
And that surely is what Christians have been doing throughout the centuries – finding new ways of saying the same thing. We get into difficulties when we “sacredize*” words or phrases. Suddenly we have imbued words with a status that they did not seek and often do not deserve. “I’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb” used to be Christian jargon for saying that they had been forgiven by God through Jesus’ death. Now it will probably get you a visit from the RSPCA. Dare I say it I think we also do with some biblical phrases: “born-again” is often used to describe someone who has undergone a conversion experience. But did Jesus really mean as to say it as often as we do? There is only one instance recorded of him saying to anyone that they should be born-again. Why have we fixated on that one phrase?
The Baptist Union of Great Britain is undergoing a review/self searching/seeking what God has to say to us process at the moment. I wonder if we have done the same thing with some of our structures and institutions. Have we sacredized them? Have we given them a status that they did not have initially and perhaps do not deserve now? Of course we can also ask the same questions of local churches and indeed ourselves.
Be blessed, be a blessing. (Now I need to consider whether I have sacredized that sentence because it has become a regular sign off at the end of a bloggage).
*yet another new word – meaning is self-evident I think
Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice”?
Why do your feet smell, and your nose run?
If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
If work is so terrific, how come they have to pay you to do it?
Is morning breath worse if you sleep with your mouth closed or with your mouth open?
Instead of talking to your plants, if you yelled at them would they still grow – only to become troubled and insecure?
Is there another word for synonym?
When sign makers go on strike, is anything written on their picket signs?
Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food?
Why do they report power outages on TV?
What’s another word for thesaurus?
If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
Isn’t Disney World a people trap operated by a mouse?