Sometimes when Paul and I meet every now and then we start to translate Portuguese expressions into English. The strangest ones are especially fun. For example:

_The other day he brought up "twisted underpants" – Even if you don’t believe me that’s actually something to eat. And I assure you it’s a very tasty kind of south Brazilian ‘donut’.
_When someone appears at the door, we say: “between!" That’s a joke because in portuguese, “between" and "come in” are the same word, “entre”.
_The other day when we were thinking of a play of words for a sermon title: "How to keep strong? How the Bread of Life!” (‘how’ and “eat’ can have the same spelling in Portuguese)
I don’t know if Paul Lantz, our Theology vicar here at ‘St Paul’s, is used to these jokes. Maybe it's hard to find someone as crazy as me. However, cross-cultural words not well translated may sometimes cause a lot of misunderstandings. Or maybe even a bit of fun.

The same problem we may find in our daily relationships. And this doesn't happen with foreigners, but the people we know. Our wife says something and we interpret it "our way." Our kids start talking in their language and we translate in our personal dictionary often missing the core of what the issue meant. We hear something about someone and quickly our "gossip translator" makes the words have quite another meaning… Yes, we are humans. We fail to understand.

But that’s when the good news come in because some words are the same in all languages. If "sin" and "guilt" always mean "to be sinful" and "to be guilty" and hopelessly being lead the wrong way, then we are reminded of that we need some other absolute words:
They mean what they mean and nothing else. And they are not only words, but they show a real life, a real God, a real faith that connects us to the Savior that always understands every word we spell in any given language. And even the ones we don’t.

Jesus translates His love and care in the way we understand. He literally cares, loves, saves. He strengthens us to speak the same language of the one’s we love so that communication and comprehension may bring good
meaning to our relationships.

And, - why not? - a good measure of fun "to boot."

Text revision:
Paul Lantz
Vicar at ‘St. Paul’s’ Congregation
Canoas, RS, Brazil.
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