I once went to a party with my wife and her work friends. Meredith was a special education facilitator for the Cherokee County School system, and we were going to a party with all those facilitators and their husbands. At one point in the evening, all of us husbands looked at each other and had the same thought…we have no idea what they are talking about. They were speaking another language, completely made of acronyms. Geico made a commercial about this recently which I thought was really funny. The entire commercial is made up of Acronyms, even HBD Gordon, HBTY (as they sing Happy Birthday). You can see the full commercial here: https://youtu.be/btGvPV9Ui5Y
Acronyms are a great tool as long as you know what the letters stand for. If you don’t, then you are completely left in the dark. We all do this in our circles, which is why it is difficult to be an outsider. This is one reason that every Sunday I start with the same welcome, and I think the passing of the peacetime is so important in our services, because while it seems repetitive to people who have been here a long time, it might be someone’s first time, and we need to be as hospitable as we can.
From time to time, while it may not be at the forefront of our minds, we should assess whether or not we are speaking in code to our friends, or if we are being as hospitable as we can. Even us using an acronym UMC is a mystery to some, but wait until they hear about UMCOR, GBGM, COSROW, UWF, UMM, and more! It was in Antioch that the term “Christian” was first used. It means “follower of Christ.” It can also be a sign of citizenship in the Kingdom of God. I hope that we, as we near the end of summer and are going to be back in our fall schedules with all the acronyms that come with it, that we can make sure we are open and inviting in every way we can.