Wednesday, January 15, 2014

eating crumbs

It’s Sunday morning, and I’m sitting next to Mark as Pastor Vic begins to speak, continuing his study of the book of Genesis.  “Should not the Word of God be what guides us? Ang Word ni Ginoo?” Mid-sentence he switches to the Visayan language. “Gihatag mong akong gikinahanglan,” then back again to English, “…through the Word of God.”

The men's Sunday School class studies the Word in Visayan and English
But wait! My slow mind is still back there on that word, “gikinahanglan.”  I know I’ve heard it…WHAT does it mean?!?  I finally give up trying to recall the meaning and begin to listen again, only to find that the sermon has gone on without me.  He’s now speaking in a third language, Tagalog, and I don’t understand a bit of it!

That’s when I know that what I’m experiencing, this attempt to understand the Word of God preached partially in a foreign language, is exactly what thousands of fellow believers across the world are doing this very morning, and every Sunday morning, as they listen to the preaching of the Word.  They are hearing it like I do; piecemeal, understanding a little here and a bit more there, but never all of it.  And they will go home hungry for more.  Because thousands of believers don’t have the Word of God in the language of their own heart.

Multitudes of pastors will be preaching next Sunday morning from a Bible written in their national language - a language used primarily for business transactions.   Even those pastors may not fully comprehend the meaning of some of the vocabulary used in the only translation of the Bible available to them.  

Meanwhile, we feast in the West, buying multiple versions and paraphrases of the Bible, all in our own heart-language, listening to unlimited sermons preached entirely in our mother-tongue.   And as we feast, millions eat the crumbs of His Word, understanding only bits and pieces, never once hearing the words of God in the language of their heart.  How can the Word of God feed those who cannot understand it?

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ. 
                                                                                          Romans 10:17   
I’m giving thanks for my feast today, and praying about how God might want me to share it with brothers and sisters who are hungry for His Word.  

"What should I pray for him? 'Lord, give him some crumbs please,' 
and I'm stuffed with a gourmet meal. 
'Give him some crumbs'? I can't pray that! It chokes in my throat. 
I can only ask that God give him the same as He has given me."
**And I finally remembered; “gikinahanglan” means “all that’s required."  In God's Word is all that’s required
for life and godliness.  Oh, that all His church had all His Word! 

p.s. Pastor Vic!  If you're reading this, PLEASE know that we love it when you preach 
in the language of your people!  Don't EVER stop for our sake! 

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