September 4th, 2011


Whaddya know

I was musing upon the Northern English/Lowland Scots word sair, a dialectal form of Mod Eng sore, as in the old-fashioned "sore afraid." And suddenly it occurred to me that sair as used in the Border region behaves uncommonly like German sehr, "very." So I looked the etymology up, and yep, sair and sore and sehr are all cognates.

The primary meaning was "injury, ache" but acquired an adverbial use which came to mean "very." In German, the adverbial use became primary, while in English the adverbial use faded away except in dialectal forms and the idiom of the King James Bible.

As Spock would say, "Fascinating," night wahr?

I may be standing up front, but it's not me who's talking to you

Deanne asked me if I had anyone in particular in mind in delivering the sermon I did this morning. It certainly seemed to have hit home with several folks. I replied that since I originally wrote that sermon for Labor Day weekend in 1983, I certainly couldn't have had anyone in my current congregation in mind.

Besides, I gave up trying to address particular people in my preaching. The person you think you're talking to is bound to be absent that day -- or tell you what a good job you did givin' it to those other sinners. Then, too, I've found that a good sermon is bound to hit somebody, which is why I don't do much editing on my old sermons. Some were preached to university churches, and some to coal-miners. But both groups need to hear what was said to the other.

As ol' Karl Barth said, you throw the Word like a rock, and let it hit what it will.