All Saints Messenger - May 1, 2014

posted May 1, 2014, 7:18 AM by Church Secretary

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,


Last weeks sermon had a section in it where I tries to parse some Greek and reveal some hidden delicacies that the English just can't reveal.  Our English language just cannot handle the fine nuances that Greek and Hebrew bring with them and so, at times, our English translation falls short, sometimes way short of what the Biblical writers are trying to share with us.


This past Sunday we heard John's story of Jesus' visitation to the Upper Room after his crucifixion and resurrection and Thomas not being there.  We have heard this story so often that we miss what else might be going on.  Jesus' first words to his disciples is "peace."  A word that offers great reconciliation to his disciples after their "lees than honorable" actions during Jesus trial and crucifixion.  Without this word of Peace, the transformation of the world could not begin.  Jesus is assuring his disciples that he will never leave them, that he will never forsake them.


In the passage "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you!" I wondered what does 'never' mean? In the original language "never" is really a compounding of five negatives. Not that each negative is added to another. Rather, each negative is multiplied by the other. It really should read, "I will never, no, not ever, no never leave you or forsake you!" It is a synergistic compounding negative. It's a forever never which has no exceptions! OK, let's dig deeper "What does "leave' mean?" In the original Greek it means "to leave behind, to abandon, to give up on, to send back." Well then, so far our verse will read: "I will never, no not ever, no never leave you behind, abandon you, give up on you, or send you back!"

Finally let's ask, "What does "forsake' mean?" In the Greek it means, "to leave one in a helpless state, to disregard." It also can be further expanded to include "not relaxing my watchfulness over you." So now, here is our new verse, which can bring us great comfort especially to those suffering through great turmoil,  "I will never, no not ever, no never give up on you, abandon you, leave you behind, cause you not to survive, leave you helpless, nor shall I ever relax concerning keeping my presence with you!"


Pretty amazing words from a God whom the world crucified.  Pretty amazing words for those who believe, but also doubt.  We are no different from those who traveled with our Lord for three years.  We have doubts, they had doubts...yet they believed and we believe...and the Lord walks into our midst this and every day and brings us "Peace!" 


Alleluia, Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

See ya Sunday!
Blessings, Peace, Joy, & Hope,