The importance of using language that people understand.
Nobody really expected that! The Roman centurion was surprised that Paul could address him in Greek (v 37), and later the crowd was amazed that he could speak Aramaic (Acts 22:2). Paul made every effort to make himself understood in the different cultures.
This came as a reminder to me of the need to communicate Christian Faith in language that people can understand. The longer we inhabit the ‘Church’ culture the harder it can become to speak about faith and following Jesus in a way that people can grasp and understand. That is simply a practical observation, not some kind of judgemental verdict on us. Most of us have moved away from the language of the old King James Version of the bible (The AV as we called it) and now read more up-to-date English in the New Living Translation or some other version that reflects how people speak these days. And we are learning to pray privately and in public without using the archaic ‘Thee’ and ‘Thou’. Our praying and speaking is coming more into line with everyday language – even although we occasionally get confused when using The Lord’s Prayer.
Now this may seem somewhat trivial, and so it is sometimes when compared with the vital issues of communicating faith in an everyday fashion.
Reflect this week on how you speak about ‘faith’ – is that even a word you want to use when you speak about following Jesus? Think of the many other words that we use in a Christian context that may mean very little to folk outside of church life. Even words like ‘Love’, ‘Hope’, ‘Peace’, ‘Repent’ and ‘Sin’ may need a bit of explanation some times.
Can you explain these things clearly to someone outside of Church life?