Take me out to the ballgame. Take me out to the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Crackerjack. I don't care if I ever get back. Let me root, root, root for the home team. If they don't win, it's a shame. For it's one, two, three strikes you're out at the old ballgame.
He translated it into German and then back into English. Well, something got lost in the translation. It sounds a little militant, like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Execute me to the ball play. Execute me with the masses. Buy me certain groundnuts and crackerstackfusig. I'm not interested if I never receive back. Let me root, root, root for the main team. If they do not win, it is dishonor. For there are one, two, three impacts on you at the old ball play.
Something got lost in the translation. The same is true about a lot of our communication with one another. Not just what is said, but the way it is said, and how it heard and received – so many things can go wrong. And communication breaks down. All the time.
The #1 reason for communication breakdowns, mishaps, mistakes, and disasters? Sin. Sins of the tongue are legion. The Bible mentions more than a few: telling, lies, slander, deceit, filthy language, unwholesome talk, bitterness, rage, anger. Honestly, our sinful nature, would much rather road rage the Holy Spirit into a ditch rather than follow his direction.
Consider what Paul told the Ephesian Christians. After begin bluntly reminded that they were dead in sin by nature, they were also told, “But God, because he is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved!” (Ephesians 2:4,5 EHV) Paul adds this in Ephesian 5:2 – “Christ loved us and gave himself for us, as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Sacred speech. Sacred actions. Sacred, divine, eternal, perfect love stand behind it all!
How shall we respond to such love and grace and mercy? “Be imitators of God,” (Ephesians 5:1) literally, mimic God, and live a life of love. This love find its fullest expression in forgiveness: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ has forgiven us.” (Ephesians 4:32) As we are loved, as we are forgiven – completely, unconditionally – so we love and forgive the same way, with God’s help – “just as in Christ God has forgiven us.”
And pursue sacred speech, speech that builds up, encourages. You realize, don’t you, the power you have in your tongue, with your speech? “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21) You can give life by what you say and how you say it or you can hurt someone, kill their spirit by what you say and how you say it.
Paul says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come from your mouths. Say only what is beneficial when there is a need to build up others, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear.” Carefully measure every word you say – it’s meaning, it’s timing, it’s impact, it’s delivery – so that others may be built up, Not easy, but possible with God’s help. And necessary. You’ve experienced the impact of well-chosen words and encouragement. You’ve benefited from a gentle, firm rebuke, and from the life-giving words of forgiveness. You’ve also experienced the hurt of the opposite. As God’s people and with God’s help, we must choose sacred speech. As God’s people and with God’s help, we are able to produce sacred speech.
“May the speech from my mouth and the thoughts in my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand
Join us for a “birthday drive-by” on Sunday, February 7th! Trinity’s oldest member, Mrs. Laura Lee, will turn 103 years old on that day. She currently lives just down the road from Trinity, at Country Terrace, 8730 Packing Plant Road, Minocqua. Here’s the plan: we’ll meet in the Trinity parking lot between services at 9:30 a.m. (no Bible study that day), then caravan to Country Terrace (one mile away). Laura will be seated at a window in order to see and hear us drive by, wave, honk horns, etc. Help make Laura’s birthday a memorable one!