Most of us may know that this sign relates to heavy machinery but the language used to talk about the machinery is just weird. There is no way you can look at a large digger and confuse it with something that has grown out of the ground. Unless you know how to interpret the language, the sign is confusing, irrelevant and unhelpful.
I think that we Christians can be like this. We may think that we are good at talking about what we believe but unless we think about how we are explaining our faith then we naturally talk in Christianese. It’s not just our problem, any group of people develops exclusive language. I’m a member of the advisory board for the children’s centres in Colchester and one of the things I found difficult when I first joined the was that I didn’t understand lots of the jargon. My favourite recent piece of jargon is BSG. I was disappointed that it refers to the Baptist Steering Group, not Battlestar Galactica.
Jesus had the ability to talk about very deep, real and complicated things but in language that anyone could understand. His language was accessible so that people could find the way to God for themselves. Is our language a help or a barrier to people finding God?
The other irony of the heavy plant sign is that if a giant JCB is rumbling past you then you probably aren’t going to need a sign to tell you its’ there. I think that it’s great that we can signpost people to Jesus but my prayer is that people would connect with him for themselves. I don’t just want to tell people about Jesus, I want to help people talk with and know him for themselves. You don’t have to be religious to talk to Jesus, he showed that when he came to the earth by the way he welcomed and spent time with everyone.
My prayer is that we would all see God at work more clearly.