Psalm 81:5b-6 I hear a language I had not known: “I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket.
Words are so important. They can heal, and they can hurt so deeply. Christians have been accused of speaking a foreign language that the world cannot understand – justification, sanctification, Blood of the Lamb, Breastplate of Righteousness, Holy Ghost, God indwelling. Even when Jesus was on earth, His words were misinterpreted by people who just could not understand. Some even were his disciples.
Yet Christ’s whole purpose for becoming a man was to provide a way for us back to God, to be the sinless bridge over the vast gap between divine and human, to be our advocate. At Pentecost, the Tower of Babel was reversed. The disciples began to speak in all languages so they could spread the Good News – that Christ came into the world not to condemn it but to save us sinners. He came to take the burden of sin from our shoulders- to carry our worries and our grasp around the basket in which we carry our pains, sorrows and doubts, just as the Psalm says.
How do we, who are foreigners in a strange land, speak the Truth to others so they can understand and draw near to God? As a writer, I keep learning at workshops how to let my words show and not tell so the reader can feel as if they are more of a participant than an observer. There is an old proverb which says something like this – “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” In other words ( pun intended), our actions really do speak louder and “Sign” language is universal.
Father in Heaven, may the language I use today in all I do and say be a sign that points to You and less to me. remind me that I’ m but the messenger, Yours is the message a crying world needs to hear. Amen.