My last two sermons complimented our church’s Lenten participation in “Unbinding Your Heart.” In each sermon, I focused on a few words which cause us to convulse: evangelism and obedience. Gulp! My hope (with God’s help) was to restore some of the shine to their lost luster. Given some of the post Sunday feedback, it’s going to take time to restore those words back to fluency for the faithful.
I want to suggest a very helpful and engaging book on the subject. It’s called “Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith” by Kathleen Norris. This is the preface:
“When I began attending church again after 20 years away, I felt bombarded by the vocabulary of the Christian church. Words such as ‘Christ,’ ‘heresy,’ ‘repentance’ and ‘salvation’ seemed dauntingly abstract to me, even vaguely threatening. They carried an enormous weight of emotional baggage from my own childhood and also from family history. For reasons I did not comprehend, church seemed a place I needed to be. But in order to inhabit it, to claim it as mine, I had to rebuild my religious vocabulary. The words had to become real to me, in an existential sense. This book is a report on the process by which they did so.”
This book is available in ACC’s library located in the church parlor.