We live in a world of abbreviations and acronyms. Every walk of life has them. In business they are rife. Alas, being a non-business man I have no idea what they mean! Schools have them by the bucket load too. There are SEFs, SIPs, JARVs, GCSEs and the dreaded OFSTED. I sometimes wonder if you need a BSc or BEd or even a BA to understand these.
Of course the world of SMS msgs (mobile phone text messages) and Twitter has encouraged the use of acronyms in an attempt to communicate as much as possible in a few letters as possible. Here’s a test, do you know what TTFN, LOL & TOY stand for?*
I suspect the church uses such abbreviations too. We certainly have more than our fair share of jargon, although I imagine that we are so used to it that we don’t even recognise it as that anymore. thinking on from our church meeting on Wednesday when we started a discussion about how we can be a more welcoming church, perhaps it would be helpful to think about the language we use and either cut out jargon or remember to explain it so that those who are unfamiliar with it are included rather than excluded.
Sport has it’s own set of acronyms. One that came up a lot this week was TDD. In fact a lot of people got rather too excited about TDD. What does it mean? Transfer Deadline Day, the day when the transfer window when players can be bought and sold closes. On TDD speculation and anticipation can sometimes hit fever pitch as pundits, professional and armchair, try and guess what last minute deals will be made, often it would seem involving Harry Redknapp.
What does TDD have to do with the church? Here’s a cracking example of church jargon from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:
‘…do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? …And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.’
What does this mean? Here Paul is trying to say that we have been through our own transfer window. It’s a bit like saying we were once playing for a club that were not up to winning the Premiership, but we have been bought by a side that are a dead cert to win. Because of our flawed humanity we were unable to gain a place in God’s kingdom, but now Jesus through his love and life has placed an offer for us, which if we accept, will propel us into the winning team and a place in God’s kingdom. Our challenge is to seek with God’s help to live in a style worthy of the club we now play for.
(* TTFN = ta ta for now, LOL = laughs out loud & TOY = thinking of you)