Friday, November 12, 2010

laughing from the grave over my language...

I was once a very
young pastor
fresh out of
released into the
southern wilderness
of South Arkansas.

Biting at the reigns
like a race horse
longing to win the
Kentucky Derby
I burst on to the scene
as the newly
ordained Associate Pastor.

My desire...
make a difference,
change the church
maybe even change the world a bit.

My discovery...
changing the world
is far easier than changing the church!

She noticed my language.
Robin Trimble noticed!
She noticed my carefully selected
words were evidence of changes
in the wider church.
My not so subtle "inclusive" words
were indeed making an impact.

had been pounded into my habits at seminary.
Papers returned
if we did not write with inclusive correctness.

No gender specific pronouns for God...
for just as the old Westminster Confession affirms...
God is beyond the definitions of human language.

Released into the wilds of church and culture
my language was marked...
carefully chosen gender inclusiveness...

Seems the wilderness in South Arkansas
was not that enthralled with such
things as inclusive language.
I recall having a debate
with Robin...
a carefully planned
respectful debate for
the Senior High
Sunday School Class.

I lost.

Though I continued to
speak my words carefully.
Robin's eye's would twinkle and wink
each time she noticed
an obvious inclusive description.

All these years later
I find myself serving a church
celebrating and expecting
inclusive language.
They print their desire for such in the Sunday bulletin.

All these years later
I realize I became a bit
lax in my careful language...
my God language that is.
Just a bit lax.
I've tended to use
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
more often than I did
at the beginning of my ministry.

Robin's laughing from the grave!
God bless her sweet soul.
She is grinning and laughing
because I was called on to the carpet!
"You're speaking a few too many
Father, Son and Holy Spirit's."

Indeed I find myself needing to
polish my words and thinking.
For I still affirm
inclusive language
is most helpful when
speaking of and describing God.

So I will practice and think and pray
as I stretch my language for God again...

Source, Word and Holy Spirit
Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer
Ground of Being
Divine One
Holy One
God of Grace

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