The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

afaik u understand this msg or r u rofl or confused?

It is all another language. One I don’t know. I’m still more formal in texting (although I’ve been known to shorten ‘you’ to ‘u’ and ‘are’ to ‘r’ and ‘love you’ to ‘LU’) but it seems I’m learning. Nevertheless this is the first time I’ve used such language in the bulletin – in my ‘blurb’ as I call it – my version of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’ or in my case ‘for the week’. I generally operate with the rule of thumb – speak so your ‘audience’ can understand you – but that’s no guarantee of successful communication.

Language is a dynamic thing – it changes and yet stays the same. I’m really intrigued with who de-cides. In general it seems that usage is the determi-native factor. When someone says that a word or phrase is in the public domain, then what was on the edge has moved more to the centre; the rebel has become respectable.

So this week I’ve read that the Oxford Dictionary Online has added ‘literally’ and ‘tl;dr’. Liter-ally. (I hope you’ve read this far!) A few weeks back I purchased Art Spiegelman’s ‘The Com-plete Maus’ – it was the first graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize (1992) – because of an education podcast talking about different genres now studied in the English curriculum in Australian high schools. It’s not a matter of Spiegelman pushing Shakespeare out of the way as standing along side. I’m currently fascinated by the discussion on marriage as a human social construct whereby we determine the word’s meaning and therefore the social, political, even cultural reality. (I wonder whether this discussion shouldn’t more be on the words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’; do they now have a ‘use by’ date?)

Christianity’s approach to language and communication is revealing. You are not taught that to read God’s Word properly or purely that you must be fluent in ancient Hebrew or Greek. You are not opening an ancient portal and hearing a continuous recording of God’s message. No, in Christianity God is the one who makes the effort; he reveals himself; he communi-cates; he deals with our sin so that we are not destroyed when coming into his holy presence; and that action is fulfilled in Jesus and his cross. But this is not just a history; a learning of the past. Jesus is alive! He is Lord. (Not he was Lord.) And the Triune God is still revealing him-self to us – our focus is always on Jesus – through words, water, bread and wine. So God uses translations of the Bible to communicate to us and the accuracy of the translation in relation to the original Hebrew or Greek and the consistency of the message heard (the Holy Spirit point us always to the cross and our sin and God’s grace) means that you can know God loves you in English or even text speak if necessary. Today. Now that’s going to affect how you live! B4N.  — GS