When I was a wee boy, we used to wear our "Sunday best" to go to church. These were clothes that would only be worn to go to church, or the occasional family wedding. Things are a lot more relaxed now in terms of sartorial elegance for church attendance. This is a good thing, as clothes are no longer a barrier to attending and people don't have to feel uncomfortable if they're not wearing a three-piece suit or a hat.
Why then do we seem to have a "Sunday best" language that is reserved for church? During the rest of the week do you ever say that someone is 'worthy' or talk about 'going through the waters of baptism'?
At work we used to play a game that we called 'bullshit bingo' (apologies to those of a sensitive nature) - you know, spotting the jargon and buzzwords in meetings. I'm tempted to patent a new game along similar lines for church.
I know that many people sincerely believe that they are treating God with due reverence, and I'm not simply knocking them. But do we really need to speak in Shakespearean English to show appropriate respect?
If we want to be inclusive, welcoming churches, let's use a vocabulary that people will understand - and when we have to use jargon make sure that we explain it clearly and coherently. Jesus spoke in Armaic.
Writing about Pentecost, Steve Chalke says:
"... God chooses to speak to us in our own language... He begins where we are."
Let's stop babbling (or should that be Babel-ing?) and start communicating