Friday, 13 February 2015

Hables espanol? Parle-vous francais? Sprechen Sie Deutsch?


Acts 21:31-22:2
"37 Just as Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, “May I say something to you?” The tribune replied, “Do you know Greek? "

"22 “Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense that I now make before you.” 
2 When they heard him addressing them in Hebrew, they became even more quiet."


Paul has been arrested on trumped-up charges of defiling the temple and disturbing the peace. The two quotes above are turning point moments in this part of his story. He is able to turn the situation around because he takes the time              (and has put in the time to be able) to speak to two separate groups of people in their own languages. 

Paul had great news to share with Jews and Greeks alike;

but, he also recognized, if you want people to listen, 

you have to speak the language of your hearers. 


I wonder how many of our efforts to spread the good news go awry not because they "fall on deaf ears", but because we haven't put in the work to learn the languages (of heart, culture and tongue) of the people we would like to reach?

Likewise, how often are we frustrated at the Lord's silence? Could it be that we haven't put in sufficient time in the discipline of learning to speak God's language of costly, grace-fuelled discipleship?


Our Father, thank you for teaching us so clearly the basics of your language. Grant us grace to grow attentively in this practice. And, teach us to follow your incarnate lead as we endeavour to learn the languages of those who have yet to hear Your good news. Amen.

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