Friday, 24 January 2014

Can you Speak "Christian"?

Speaking Christian-Salvation

Exodus 15 :2
Luke 2:11-14

            When we communicate with each other the most common   For example when we hear the words ‘touch down’, yard line, offensive, defense, quarter back we might come to a conclusion that what is occurring is a football game. A game played with an egg shaped ball and is carried more than hit with a foot. But what if you heard the words offside, referee, whistle, goalie, there might be some confusion as to whether hockey or soccer was being played as these words are common to both. Language used internationally is English. There may be phrases, dialects, and even grammar variances used by people in certain areas but for the most part we try to use words and sentence structure that makes sense. This is so that others may read, hear and understand our ideas. But what if you went into a building where most of the words were only understood by those present because of what activities were being shared.
May be you have entered into a church setting and heard the words salvation, heaven, hell, sin, forgiveness and wondered what was really happening in this building and why? Some churches speak of love and caring brothers and sisters and you realize that they are not related at all. But this is the language spoken by Christians and for many people today under the age of 40, this language being shared is as if a foreign language has been said out loud. The words are not understood and the concepts are just not clear.
 There have been many studies completed on how people are biblically illiterate but get the message of what is being shared. That is, people may not know where the teaching is in the Bible, but the message is very important to them. A sense of belief is not always apparent but what is often shared is the reasoning or rationale for the belief. We live in a prove it society and science overtakes belief. So a big concern is that we are losing the language of how to speak Christian and understanding what we mean as we share the Christian message.
For the next few weeks we will look at our Christian vocabulary and prayerfully explain their meaning!
“Salvation”- is a word used throughout the Bible but not necessarily about the afterlife. In the OT story of the Hebrew people being liberated from bondage, salvation is defined as the moment when God makes a path through the sea, the Israelites pass through and the sea rushes back and drowns Pharaoh’s army.  A hymn celebrating this deliverance is sung” The Lord is my strength and my might, and God has become my salvation.” (15:2)  In this story, salvation involves liberation from economic, political, religious bondage. The people of Israel shaped their future because of this salvation. 
            Jesus was born to bring peace on earth and to transform the world into a place of peace and justice. This too is salvation- when we ourselves are transformed and so is the world in which we live and as believers in Jesus we believe this transformation begins in faith. Salvation has different meanings based upon its context. To believe in Jesus as the Saviour- the One from whom we receive salvation means that we have faith in Him enough to bring personal transformation as well as change in the world.
Salvation comes when we are transforming our lives in faithful love and service. Do you believe in the One who enables salvation for you?

Holy God help us to understand these words of faith. Enable us to reflect and know that salvation come from you and that with it we are in a process of changing and transforming ourselves into whom God wants us to be and become. Hear our prayers O God. Amen.

Are you saved? Is a common question asked regarding ones’ salvation or transformative process. To respond depends upon what really is being asked. But how would you respond?Is being saved in past present or future?   Has God already done all that is necessary to save me?  Do I presently live in a saving relationship with God. 
Have I already become all that I might become?.

For further reading, Marcus J. Borg, Speaking Christian.(Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 2011)

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