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God Speaks Your Language

28March2012

Stephen and Rachel are followers of Jesus.  And they followed Him all the way to Tanzania.  They are missionaries and they are learning Swahili right now so that they can learn the language of the Bungu people.  Ultimately they will be translating the Bible into the language of the people.  If that isn’t cool—I don’t know what cool is!

Recently they emailed this picture:

I’m certainly touched by the smiles and faces of these precious children.  But something Stephen mentioned in the email was that bumper sticker.  Its English translation is, “God Speaks Your Language.”  Thanks to Stephen and Rachel—the Bungu people are hearing the story of God’s hope in their language.

But what about our language?  Sure, English is still the dominant language in our nation but words are on the decline.  Words don’t have the same power as they once did—do they?  Text messages truncate letters.  Twitter whittles down thoughts to 140 characters.  Pinetrest is all about images—not words.  In our Google digital world, words are no longer king.

We see anywhere from 500 to 3,000 advertisements everyday (and they all tell a false gospel).  Through their use of images and words, these advertisements tell stories.  Have you seen the Chipotle add?  There isn’t a burrito in sight.  And the ad offers no words either—other than the song.  But the ad tells the story, tugs on some heart strings, and got me to go enjoy one of those delicious wraps just the other day.

Gutenberg revolutionized the world and the word with the invention of the printing press.  As we’ve moved into the digital era words are losing their power.  We live in an image driven world where everyone has a story and is ready to tell it to the world—think Youtube.

And Jesus has a story too!  Words may no longer be king—but the WORD is still the King of kings.  You and I need to be like Stephen and Rachel.  Will you be the mouthpiece who speaks the Hope of Jesus in the language of the people?  Will you be His missionary in your zip code?  Tell His story—and how your story fits into it.  Yes, use our words—but use the language of the culture–because God speaks your language.

For more on this topic, check out Leonard Sweet’s latest book: Viral: How Social Networking is Poised to Ignite Revival.

SMN@CCD

If you have not seen the Chipotle video, go here

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