A few years ago someone brought to mind the need for a gospel accent. The thing about accents is that they are an indicator of where we’re from. Accents come from the community from which we are surrounded: family, neighbors, School, jobs, etc. Even in our church of about 100, it’s very clear to hear whether you are from the American South, New England, or even in Colorado which doesn’t seem to have any accent to me at all. So when I begin to talk, it is very clear then I am not from the state. Some of you are not from this country at all. Some of you are from the Caribbean, south america, New Zealand, and I’m sure we’ve had others that have joined us from various parts of the world.
But then I came across a podcast last week called Church Grammar. The definition of grammar is the whole system and structure of a language or of languages in general, usually taken is consisting of syntax and morphology including inflections and sometimes also phonology and semantics. In other words, every language has a system of rules that govern language regarding sounds, words, sentences, and interpretation. What does that have to do with anything we’re talking about right now?
The fact is that Christians have their own language and syntax and grammar and accent. How we talk is a reflection of the community and neighbors we have as part of the kingdom of God and the body of Christ itself. People can tell from how we talk and how we act if we are part of this world or not. The line of demarcation in our culture now is growing more and more bold and thick. No longer do we have a residue of a Christian ethic that pervades our culture and our movies and our books and our shows and our language. Clearly, the culture wishes to have a different set of rules and accents. While we most certainly need to make sure that we understand the language and the rules of the culture and how they speak in order to communicate the gospel, the more we communicate the gospel in God’s word, the more we will be seen to be out of touch.
The temptation will be to resist being rejected and therefore throw off who we are and what we believe and try to get rid of that accent. Don’t give in. For Christ is rescued us from the bog and has brought us into his perfect blessing. Psalm 40 reminds us of our accent. We are reminded of where we were, what God is doing now, and how we desperately need him moving forward. We do not know what’s ahead, but we can most certainly look back and see all that he has already done and are being reminded that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What he did before, and what he’s doing now, he will keep doing.