Manchester is not the place it was in my childhood. It looks different, of course, especially with all the rebuilding, but it feels different.
Walking around the city centre or in the shops, you could be in any European city. You will hear a variety of languages and customs of dress.But, just as when you are abroad, English seems to be an international tongue. Travellers, especially, know some English, and reach for it to convey whatever it is they need to say. It is gestures, facial expressions, intonation as well, but the words are often English.
The kingdom of God has a language. Not all who belong to the kingdom are fluent in it, but it is the father tongue, and all who enter inevitable encounter and acquire the ability to speak it. It should become, more and more, the substance of their conversation.
It isn’t just the words, it is far more than that, and sometimes doesn’t need words.The language is grace. It’s is what our lives speak of, and we need to let it speak clearly.
Sometimes we simply need to let go of the ungracious things in our conversation, and let God’s truth and grace have pre-eminence.
Let your conversation be without greed, or any form of selfishness or self-centredness, because I have made it plain that ‘I will never leave you, neither will I abandon you’ (Hebrews 13:5)
Let the grace ooze out of the cracks…