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Never Lost in Translation

The Son of Man Himself did not come to be served but to serve
Isaiah 53:10-11; Psalm 33:4-5,18-20,22; Hebrews 4:14-16; Mark 10:35-45

Sermon Week Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 10:45

Learning a new language can be a rich, rewarding – even unexpectedly delightful journey. Sometimes a word that is new to us may sound so beautiful you'll want to hear it repeatedly. Others may have such poetic or inspiring meaning that you can't wait to share your discovery with friends or family. Still, others get lost in translation when trying to describe the word in your native language. Here are just a few examples:

First, in order and terms of sheer size, is the word Nakakapagpabagabag (Naka-ka-pag-paba-ga-bag). This term, spoken in the language of the Philippines (Tagalog), is used to describe "something that creates anxiety or uneasiness,” which is precisely what I feel each time I try to pronounce it!

Next is Kaamos – a Finnish word for "polar night." A phenomenon that happens within the polar circles, Kaamos refers to a period of darkness that lasts more than 24 hours. The term also holds an emotional impact when used to describe a feeling of depression resulting from a lack of daylight.

Last but certainly not least in terms of profound meaning is Hiraeth -- a beautiful Welsh term with an elegant and poetic definition. It combines elements of homesickness, nostalgia, and longing. It is charged with a subtle acknowledgment of an irretrievable loss — a blend of place, time, and people that can never be recreated." -1

In stark contrast to these fascinating examples is the story of a certain lawyer, well-known for his arrogant use of legal terms in his courtroom speeches. Worse, he made a hobby of translating Scripture into this double-talk. For example, his version of one of the petitions in the "Lord's Prayer" went something like this:

We respectfully request, and entreat, that due and adequate provisions be made on the date hereinafter set forth, for the structuring of whatever methods may be appropriate for the allocation and distribution to those of us pronouncing this invocation, of sufficient quantities of processed wheat and other grains as may be required for life-giving sustenance.

Translation: Give us this day our daily bread!

Jesus' instruction to His disciples on the Christian way [...]

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