I sat down this afternoon to watch a program on Netflix. It was a British production and I was having such a difficult time understanding what they were saying I finally turned on the subtitles. That helped a lot. I felt kind of stupid needing subtitles for something in my native tongue. Or is British English my native tongue? This afternoon I doubted it.
My students in Africa used to argue amongst themselves about what language we will speak in heaven. Of course each tribe was a rabid supporter of their language. I never got into the fray. I didn’t have to. I know it will be American English. But wait will that be American English in Georgia or Boston or Des Moines?
I used to have some church members who were insistent that I should use the King James Version when I preached. They were convinced that Jesus said “Thee” and “Thou” as I should if I was going to have any authority. So what language does God speak? He speaks the language of the heart. He doesn’t need the mutterings of our mouths to understand our needs, our desires, our passions and our longings.
I love Romans 8:26 and 27. “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Perhaps in heaven we will retain our native tongue and use a universal translator button on our shirts. (robes!) However it will work, it will be just fine.
Written by Roger Bothwell on June 9, 2015
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574