Thought for the Week

Rutherglen Reformer - - News From the Pews -

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.

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