I was reading an article this week about how texting slang is now being used in everyday speech, meaning people are now saying out loud acronyms like OMG and LOL. I began to think of all the different slang words that have crept in and out of everyday speech over time.
My mother would probably be most familiar with phrases like “swell” and “groovy”, and for my siblings, words like “dude” and “heavy.” My generation grew up on “totally” and “whatever.” It seems that slang has always been around. Which made me wonder, would Jesus have used slang? I think that he would have. After all, in so many of his parables, he referred to images and circumstances that are not as familiar with people today, but at the time would have been completely relatable. I’m thinking in particular of Jesus’ frequent use of parables that include seeds, vines and sheep, all things that would have been familiar in the lives of the people he was speaking to at the time. It makes sense to me (although I am not a scholar) that Jesus would also use phrases and, even slang, familiar at the time.
Oftentimes, it’s hard to remember that Jesus was human and divine. He understands us. He knows what we are going through. I know that sometimes when I enter into prayer, I get caught up in ‘doing it right’ and saying the right things. Thinking about Jesus and knowing that he understands my prayers – no matter what words I use to utter them – is reassuring and comforting. I like to think that Jesus wouldn’t mind what words we use to pray, as long as we are speaking with him.