Today’s Word from Pastor Jim… 

“Many of the Jews read this inscription because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.” John 19:20

I have studied four languages in my life: English, Spanish, Greek and Hebrew. Through it all, it has been painfully apparent that I have very little aptitude in this area of study. Truth be told, I have very little aptitude in any subject matter, though I did excel at recess and lunch in my school days. I can share my entire foreign language vocabulary quite easily: baklava, cerveza, boker tov, gracias, and bano rapido. Given my language challenges, I have always had great admiration for the multilinguists, standing in awe of all polyglots.

Recently, Felicia and I had the privilege of taking an Alaska cruise, 7 days roundtrip from Seattle. The ship was magnificent, the staff and crew were from every corner of the world, and they were accomplished polyglots. The guests on board were from a multitude of European countries, China, Japan, Canada, England, Norway and even Texas. It was a floating United Nations, and everyone was kind and considerate, unless you cut in the buffet line.

Now this could have been a little intimidating for a man who barely has a grasp of the American English language. I had no idea even what the Brits were saying. But I could not help but notice that there was a deeper, more primal form of communication that was shared by all and very easy to interpret. Our common humanity was on display, our evolutionary DNA did not distinguish skin color or nationality. All over the ship, at dinner, on shore and on excursions the smiles were all the same, laughter rang identical in every language, tender hugs were shared, children cried but their tears did not reveal their native lands or tongues.

We are human; our commonalities dwarf our culture differences. We are human, the children of God. There is only one creator; God by any name is God. We are human; we all long to love and be loved, we want to care for our families, we hope for a better future for our children and grandchildren. We are humans: fragile and resilient, insecure and afraid, somewhat whole and somewhat broken. We are dust and to dust we shall return. We are human; perhaps it is time that we treat each other with tender care, knowing that everyone is carrying a heavy load.

It was only by the grace of God, or should I say my professors, that I passed Greek and Hebrew at Seminary, and that grace has carried me to a life of grace.

I am one beggar, telling another beggar where to find bread. Hasta luego for now,

Pastor Jim

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