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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Amen

Okay, so I'm not neglecting you as much as you think. 

I totally wrote a super long post two days ago, but I want Ryan to read it over before I publish for feedback, and he hasn't done it yet.

Anyway, I was just washing the dishes and I thought of something that could be a fun little post.

Amen.

Do you know what that word means? I'm pretty sure most Christians don't. Some think it means 'yes' or 'agreement'... and sort of, but no. 

It means "so be it."

But when I was little no one explained that to me and I just thought it was a way to end a prayer. Kind of like "sincerely" or "yours truly" was a way to end a letter. And sometimes I still default back to that kind of thinking.

So I was washing dishes and thinking and I said a little prayer to God... I actually forget what I prayed for. Something like "Thanks for something. Amen"

So be my thanks? Doesn't make a lot of sense, right?

But it was habit for me to end prayers in Amen. 

And if you watch a lot of churches where the congregation shouts "amen" (or to me, the very annoying thing when the pastor says "can I get an Amen?") a lot of times, it really doesn't make sense.

"And Satan will destroy you!"

"Amen!"

Um, no. Please don't let Satan destroy me. I don't want to say "so be it" to stuff like that.

Other times we're saying "so be it" to something we're not sure if we want. 

"Lord, if {Random Christian} is struggling with {random issue} may they have the wisdom to deal." 

"So be it."

I mean... it's not horrible. But "so be it" implies a decisive "this is what we want". But if we're not sure if a situation even exists, so be it seems just like odd language. 

Sometimes, however, "so be it" is totally appropriate.

"God please make me more loving. [So be it]."

So I'm not saying we shouldn't Amen. It is from the Bible. But I'm just saying we totally use it wrong probably at least 20% of the time. 

I can't think of an example off the top of my head right now but I know there are tons of times that I don't think an "amen" is called for, in group prayer, but a "yes, Lord" is... just times when you want to acknowledge agreement with a prayer, without a decisive "so be it." So if you've ever prayed with me in a group setting, you'll hear me whispering "yes, Lord" a lot.

I will also use "Amens" I'm not saying I don't.

Anyway, I thought this was a funny little topic I'd never addressed on here that would maybe make some people think. I don't think it's a huge deal, after all God knows our intent. Still, I think being deliberate about the words we use is a good thing.

As a closing note I'll just mention one more thing... "alleluia" or "hallelujah" (same word, just different anglicized spellings) means "Praise God".

Next time you hear a lot of hallelujah-ing this might make you chuckle because I hear a lot of "Hallelujah, Praise God, Hallelujah!"

Also, some churches (including my home one in America) have the habit of not saying "alleluia" during lent because it's perceived as too cheerful and it's supposed to be a time of solemn reflection...

I totally confess that most years I feel like God is calling me, in my own prayer time, to increase my alleluias during lent because during NO time of the year should we cease to praise God! That's just nonsense! :) {In defense of my church, they will say 'praise God' in English during this time... proving they have no idea what 'alleluia' really means. Chuckle.}

Anyway, just some funny stuff floating around on the top of my head...

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