I Speak American, Not English

Oxford has produced a dictionary of North American English, and its second edition has over 250,000 entries.  It’s called the “New Oxford American Dictionary.”  It’s a dictionary that has definitions for American words.

Here’s my point in that: I attended a rugby game here tonight in Pretoria, South Africa.  I was with Rylan, my fellow American teammate, as well as an Afrikaans friend.  As we talked about each of our country’s beloved sports, I couldn’t help but notice the difference in our vocabulary.  It took a sentence or two to describe what we meant; then we were square on our understanding of terms.

The problem was that he was speaking English.  I was speaking American.

If you are from America, you don’t speak English.  Let’s call it what it is.


You Are Weird to God

When you hear the word “alienated,” what comes to mind?  You probably think words like of “strange,” “foreign,” or “different.”

How about “weird”?

If you look up “weird” in the dictionary, you might find something like this: “involving or suggesting the supernatural; unearthly or uncanny: a weird sound; weird lights.”  Interesting.  That sounds like they are describing a UFO or an alien.

Well, in Colossians 1:21, Paul writes that we “once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.”  The previous six verses describe the incredible attributes of Jesus — his divinity, supremacy, and preeminence.  Because Jesus is all those things, and we are not, it makes us different than he is.  How do we respond to something that is different  from us (in the negative sense)?  We usually say, “That’s weird!”  When God sees sin, he says, “That’s not right.  That’s not how it’s supposed to be.”

Because of our sin, we do not belong in the same universe as God.  He is so perfect.  We are so sinful.  That’s a huge difference.  Our sin separates us from him; it causes us to not be able to experience relationship with God.  We are estranged.  We are lost.  Simply, in God’s eyes, sin makes us weird.

But the good news of the gospel is that Jesus, the righteous God-man, came to die for us, the unrighteous weirdos.  That’s what Paul tell us in verse 22:

[And you, who were once alienated]…he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.

Jesus died that we might be holy and blameless before God.  Jesus’ death takes away alienation and brings on a new nature.  His death reconciles us to God.  His death secures our relationship with God.

Let’s praise God that his criteria for receiving love isn’t that we are like him.  He loves sinners.  He loves weirdos.  And he sent his Son to make us right with him, so that we might become more like Jesus for all eternity.