This exercise -- of coming to worship in a language that isn't mine is one of the ways that I remember that the refugees that are a part of our worshiping congregation are doing a brave and amazing thing. They arrive on our shores with nothing more than a family that sponsors them. Nothing. The courage it takes to come to a new place and surround yourself with the unfamiliar in order to escape unlivable conditions and give your children a chance of a life lived in Christian faithfulness is hard to understand and easy to overlook, especially when it's difficult to communicate with the people that have traveled so far.
They are us. We are them. Many of them come to worship on Sunday morning where the words spoken are in my language. I wonder if they feel as disconnected and connected at the same time. Because that's what I feel on Sunday evenings when I worship in their language. I feel connected to the greater Christian community and to my neighbors. We are so different -- made by the same God, children of the same LORD. Save by the same Jesus.
And although I do not understand the content of the teaching or the language of the song, I absolutely know the commitment of faith, the desire to pray, the hunger for the word of God, that rests in all our hearts regardless of the language we speak.
It's difficult to build relationships in this consumer driven culture. It's very difficult to build relationships across a cultural and language gap. And yet that is the work to which we are called. This faith we live is not a program to be executed, rather it is a relationship to be woven by the power of the Holy Spirit in the overwhelming love of God through the salvation of Jesus Christ.
And even when we don't understand, we can still faithfully be the church together.