Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's Greek to Me

A few days later RH and I met at a friend’s birthday lunch and then proceeded to one of the most enlightening conversations I've ever had about my faith:
Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is near!”
How often have you heard this phrase in Christian circles, or had it preached at you? I'll wager that each time it's been spoken of it has been used with connotations of fire and brimstone, or penitence, or the more common charismatic understanding of 'turn away from and turn towards' something else. (As an aside, I am fascinated by etymology, the study of words and their origins. Interesting to note Webster's definition of the word has become the common understanding of the word today, BUT it wasn't always that way. The change happened when the Classical Greek was translated into Latin.)
The original Greek, the word 'metanoia', meant to change one's mind or heart about someone or something. So when John the baptist was out preaching in the desert and telling everyone to “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near,” he really literally meant, 'See things a new way – look at this God again. Change your mind, change your heart – it's not as difficult to know him as it seems! It's so much easier to believe! In fact, God is all around you and right here, right now – look his kingdom is here and now!'

And so here I am. Finding my Christianity in a state of transformation. In a state of flux. Where I am examining everything I thought I knew and holding it up to the illuminating light of grace and finding myself, mouth agape, saying, “Really? It's this freeing? It's not about all these other petty things?” I'm learning to see how much my Christianity has been shaped by churches too afraid to embrace the liberty of grace, too scared of the ramifications....

It's an exhilirating, unknown journey...a journey, yet again, to the beat of a different drum.

1 comment:

  1. :-)

    I know this journey you are on - its a ride for sure! Unlearning what we have been brought up on as *truth* can be invigorating, freeing but painful at times.

    But the freedom is life changing. Lets hang soon.