Language matters. Particularly, the language we use in worship matters. So, my ears perked up recently when in worship congregation members were besieged by many, oh so many, opportunities to “volunteer.”
I love the show Rehab Addict. Nicole Curtis, the show’s host, is a contractor who specializes in restoring old homes—typically about 100 years old, sometimes significantly older. They are always in terrible, terrible shape.
The things she does to these houses are astounding.
As I enter through heavy wooden doors, I encounter a hush that is understood rather than enforced. I sign in; the woman sitting at the desk looks up and smiles pleasantly, asking me who I am there to see. The smile gives way to a look of recognition as she points me toward the hallway and tells me the room number.
Last fall, our congregation presented Bibles to some of our elementary school kids. This is a longstanding tradition here, to provide each child of reading age with their very own grown-up Bible.
When we hand out the Bibles, I always call the kids forward and tell them that it is a special gift from their church family, because we think it's important that everyone have a Bible to read for themselves.
There is a scene in TheLord of The Rings: The Return of the King in which Peter Jackson improves on Tolkien. At the battle of Pelennor Fields, King Theoden leads the Riders of Rohan to assist in the defense of Gondor. His niece, Eowyn, whom he loves more dearly than a daughter is forbidden, because of her gender, to fight.