I was chatting via social media the other day. I wanted to succinctly express an entire paragraph of description. I came up with a doozy, intertwined missional expressions. Pretty cool, huh?That is how lingo is born.
I used to be great at lingo. I used it frequently. I even used it correctly. At least to me, it made me look knowledgeable. A veritable expert to be consulted in the event that knowledge is lacking and even when it isnt.
I served aboard a ship a long time ago, alongside a set of twins. One worked in engineering and was buff and muscular while the other worked in the ships office and was slender, softer, and not quite as ripped, but other than that the two looked alike. They both had been born and raised in Quebec. Often times when they wanted to communicate with each other they would lapse into speaking French. That’s pretty cool except they would do it in group settings as well. Since most of us only spoke English with a smattering of Spanish slang thrown in, it was pretty frustrating. It let us know we were outside the circle, unwelcome to the deeper relationship, barred by the barrier of language shared between the two. They were there, close enough to touch. But they really weren’t present. They were with is but not really with us.
Lingo is cool, except when it is not, and that is often. As a people, a group of Christ followers, we were told that the same way the Father sent Jesus was the exact same way Jesus was sending us. God sent Jesus to be with us, I mean really with us. To move into our neighborhoods. Our lives. He spoke the common language and made references to what was common in the lives of his hearers. He went to all the common places we frequented. He addressed specific people but he spoke in a way that anyone could understand. If he hadn’t then I imagine I never would have clued into the Gospel message. It would have just been like French and I wouldn’t understand. I’m just not that bright.
I know lingo. I’ve got a decent repitoir of it just in case I really need it, but I rarely do.
I am not interested in being that cool, wise old guy that a limited crowd access. I am more interested in loving, and loving well. Loving well is inclusive so I try to make my language reflect that. It doesn’t take lingo to love well and love welcomes people inside. If you listen in I hope you can understand, even feel free to jump right in. The more the merrier, especially if you haven’t a clue about what we are talking about. Hopefully we are talking about Jesus. Not a lingo heavy doctrinal discussion, but a real, gritty, human discussion of our real life collision with this amazing visitor from Heaven who came to be with, I mean really with, us, which is everyone.