I was sitting in my office annex the other day and was listening to folks use Canada’s third official language as they ordered their double doubles, triple singles and four by fours. Which begs the question: is a coffee with four creams and four sugars still a coffee? But again, I digress.
As I listened to the customers speaking in a code readily understood by those who served them, I wondered about the language we speak in our churches.
How often do we assume that everyone who comes through our doors on Sunday morning speaks the same language as we do? And I’m not talking about English but when we bandy around terms like “grace” and “vestibule” and “propitiation”, maybe we don’t bandy propitiation around so much these days.
I have to remind myself from time to time that not everyone understands “churchy” language. Part of my job is to act as a tour guide, as I lead people to catch a glimpse of the eternal. And part of that job is occasionally acting as a translator, translating “Christianese” into everyday English.
If you get the wrong coffee because of a miscommunication, that’s a mistake that can be corrected. If you miss eternity because of a miscommunication, that is a tragedy and it’s forever.
Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.