A while back I started receiving a daily selection from the writing of Frederick Buechner and recently this came to my inbox. It immediately caused me to smile as I recognized much truth in it and I must admit also made me sad.
Tourist Preaching –
English-speaking tourists abroad are inclined to believe that if only they speak English loudly and distinctly and slowly enough, the natives will know what’s being said even though they don’t understand a single word of the language.
Preachers often make the same mistake. They believe that if only they speak the ancient verities loudly and distinctly and slowly enough, their congregations will understand them.
Unfortunately, the only language people really understand is their own language, and unless preachers are prepared to translate the ancient verities into it, they might as well save their breath. (From: “Whistling in the Dark” and later “Beyond Words.”)
How about you? Do hear a truth, or truths, in Buechner’s words?
What does it say to you about how God’s word of Grace has been “translated” so you heard (and hear) it?
What does it suggest to you that you might do to “translate” God’s word of Grace so it is heard by those you know?