Articles, activities for boomers & seniors
I can still see their faces as if it were yesterday.
I was doing a “children’s corner” at church - a time during the service in which we would invite the children to come forward to hear a message particularly addressed to them. On this particular Sunday, when they all came forward and gathered at the front of the church, I told them I was going to teach them the worst swear word ever!
I can still see their faces....not so much the ones on the children, but the ones on their parents! Thankfully, I had developed some capital over the years so I don’t think they were too worried, but they were wondering – and so were the children, just what word I was going to say. I told the children that unfortunately they had probably heard some “bad” words before, and that the worst swear word I was going to teach them was one they most definitely heard before – and as a matter of fact, it was a word they heard regularly at church. And that certainly got there attention!
Then I used “the dramatic pause”.. I could tell they were trying hard to think of the word I was going to say. And at this point, a few of their parents were getting finicky in their seats.
Then I told them, “The worst swear word anyone could ever say would be to take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.” I reminded them of the 2nd Commandment: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”
I told them that in the Hebrew culture, a name was more than a simple name – more than a way to call, identify or refer to a person. A name represented the person to whom it belonged. Therefore, to misuse the name of God was to misuse God Himself. To use his name in a disrespectful manner, was to disrespect God himself.
The Hebrew scribes in the O.T. were very serious in not wanting to take God’s name in vain. Some would literally take a bath before writing the name - or they would abbreviate God’s name as G_d, or use “Adonai” as a substitute when pronouncing it.
The point of all this, is that God’s name should never be spoken, written or used disrespectfully. Were a person to say, “Oh G_d this...” or “Oh G_d that” – would be to turn what was meant to be a word of great endearment, to the worst swear word ever uttered.
Jesus once said, “I tell you, on the Day of Judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” The reason for this verdict was because he knew “out of the heart, a man speaks....”