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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Clearing the confusion.


Yes, the answer to your question is Tuesday at 3:30 because purple monkeys don't fly after 4 PM.

Huh?

I remember my first time on the ground in Malawi Africa (2010) and the vast chasm that existed between English and Chichewa languages. Our words didn't always translate to the native understanding and vice versa. Conversation was slowed and more thought was put into communicating. A great grace and patience was needed and exhibited between our hosts and us. It was so easy to say one thing which could be interpreted another way.

The other day, I noticed this sign in town. I saw several messages with different meanings coming from the same general source. Parking is reserved. How do I get this privilege? Parking is prohibited at all times. Who determines reserved-ness and prohibited-ness? In one case, I can park there. I think. On the other hand, if I park there I may get towed and have to pay the tab. I think. Vague? Yes. Incongruent?Most likely.

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s

likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh

water and salt water flow from the same spring?" (James 3:9-11, NIV)

We who love Jesus, often use words and phrases that are second nature to us but may be the most confusing things other people have ever heard. They hear us talk of salvation, redemption, atonement, sanctification, born again, washed in the blood, and other catch phrases of our faith and they shake their heads. We speak of sin and God's grace and of repentance and mercy. On one hand we speak of God as love but in another instance mention the just-ness or holiness of God.

The messages emitted by Christians is as confusing some days as what our sisters and brothers in Malawi experienced with us. Worse still are signs of grace from believers followed quickly by rudeness and impatience. So which are we, God's picture of grace or angry self-centered people spewing poison? We can't be both.

Choose grace as our first language. Actually, chose it to be our only language. Love is attached firmly to grace. Love cares, serves, blesses, protects, lifts up, and yes, holds others accountable. Love is fair and firm in equal doses.

Today, speak and demonstrate God's love and grace more. Allow non-believers and nominally religious people to see the simplicity in Christian faith. Don't muddy the waters with 'christianeze' and a life that doesn't match our saved-ness. Be an example of scriptural holiness and change your world with clarity and truth.

PS: The 'purple monkeys' flying thing is only on Wednesdays that fall on an even numbered day.


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