I have loved other cultures since I was a little girl. At bedtime, my great grandmother would tell me stories of the Caribbean, of monkeys in Brazil, men dressed in linen suits and hats in Panama and beautiful Bahamian ladies with skin the color of cafe con leche in Andros. I loved my Nanny's stories of these faraway places and I dreamed of going there someday.
When I was 10 years old I met Ana Lourdes. Her father was Bahamian and her mother was Cuban. Her family spoke Spanish in their home which, for this little farm girl, was mesmerizing! I loved the way the words seem to roll off their tongues so lyrically and the way they gestured with their hands. A whole new world opened before my eyes! I listened intently to every word and watched for visual cues as to what they were saying. I mimicked and practiced and made loads of mistakes. I scoured our Encyclopedias at home for anything Spanish and anything-remotely-related-to-anything Spanish! And before too long, I began to speak.
I knew I had hit a milestone one night when Ana Lourdes woke me to tell me I was talking in my sleep. In Spanish! I could hardly go back to sleep!
Fast forward a few years and I'm sitting in a classroom at my church at a Precept Bible Study. Our leader talked to us about the original languages of the Old and New Testament. Original languages. She had my full attention with those words!
She showed us how to look up the English words in a concordance where each word was a assigned a number. We then looked up the number at the back of the concordance and voila!, there was the Hebrew or Greek word used in that passage. Oh my goodness gracious, I was over the moon with joy! I had read my Bible since I was little, but I never knew I could study it in the original languages. For crying out loud, when did they tell us this in Sunday School? The more I studied, the more I wanted to study. I loved doing word studies, digging for the roots of their meaning and looking for these words in different passages.
So, I want to do some digging right here. With you. We're going to look at words in scripture and see what they mean for us as believers. How they apply to our lives right here, right now. Some words will be familiar, but you just might be surprised at what we discover.
What is the point of word studies, of language? To know and be known. To communicate. To connect on an intimate level. To have fellowship.
The more I learned to speak Ana Lourdes' language, the more I was part of her world, her culture. The very same thing happens to us when we immerse ourselves in scripture.
We don't study God's word to fill our minds with knowledge or puff up our egos with facts. We study the Bible to know God.
We were made for this!
Here's the deal: I am no Bible Scholar. I'm just a girl with a little bit of language background but a whole lot of need-to, want-to, got-to passion for God's word.
I'll meet you here again Monday and we will begin some language lessons. Are you game? I sure hope so.
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