Thought for the Week
Inside an old Church in Hampshire, dating from about 1000 AD (and still in use!), there is this inscription on one of the arches: HER SWULTELATH SEO GECWYDRAEDNES THE”.
And, just in case you’re wondering what language that is, let me assure you that it is English (Anglo-Saxon) as it was spoken and written over 1000 years ago! So, if it is English, why can’t we understand it now?
Simply because English is still a living language, used over vast areas of today’s world, which means that, unlike Latin, for instance, it keeps updating itself to cope with new ideas, new realities and new cultures.
So what does that old inscription actually say? It says: “Here the Covenant is revealed to you”, and it seems to be a reference to words from chapters 10 and 12 of the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews, which remind the worshipper, as he approaches the most sacred part of the Church building, that Jesus has already shed His blood once and for all on the Cross, in order to open a new direct route to the Father, and so to fulfil the age-old Covenant God made with His chosen people.
In effect, there is now free access to God’s grace and forgiveness for all who no longer trust in their own righteousness, but put their faith in the righteousness of Christ alone.
Now that’s worth translating into ANY language, whether countless local languages all over the world, or into the up-to-date English which is actually spoken and understood by English speakers in 2015; for not only is English a living language, but the Word of God itself will never pass away (St. Matthew 24 v 35). Rev Alan Raeburn, Rutherglen Old Parish Church.