Have you ever sat in church or had a conversation with a Christian and wondered when they stopped speaking English? One second they’re speaking perfectly normal, then all of a sudden they start using strange words and you’re wondering if this is what Swahili sounds like. Just like any other group of people, Christians have their own lingo. Words and phrases that we use that are particular to us. And there’s usually nothing wrong with those words. But sometimes we forget to explain what they mean to the new guys. Or even worse, we use them ourselves without ever learning what they actually mean. Every now and again I stop myself and ask “What does this actually mean?”
There’s this word I use almost everyday. And I use it without even thinking. I know it’s the right word to use but, to be honest, I don’t really know what it means or why I say it. And I think you’re probably in the same boat. The word is Amen. Know what I mean? I use the word at the end of every prayer. When someone else prays at the front of church, I know I’m supposed to join in with a hearty Amen at the end. But what does the word even mean? And why do we use it?
I’m preparing to give a kids talk at Church on Sunday morning. I’ve been ask to give a talk on Zacchaeus aimed at 5 year olds. I love giving kids talks. It’s a great privilege God gives to tell young kids about the God who loves them. And the great thing about kids talks is that they’re great for adults too. Everyone has different learning styles, so the very visual, simple talk with one big point can really make an impact. But sometimes, as is the case with this talk, as I prepare I find myself with great illustrations that aren’t appropriate for the audience. Usually they’re too obscure or aimed at too young an audience. This time though, the illustration I thought of was too old for my audience. I doubt many 5 year olds have heard of Ben Folds.