Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A little known planet

In the year 2094, the Anglican evangelists reached a little known, but very cold, planet on the outer edge of the Milky Way. The people, commonly known as Heaters, had bodies much like ours, but instead of eyes they had heat sensors. This worked well for them. They had developed many of the same scientific instruments and conveyed data by both the written and spoken word. Their language was easy to learn even if their vocabulary was smaller than the English language.

Quickly, the Anglicans determined that this planet had never developed any gods, didn’t even have a concept of god. So that when the evangelists began to explain how God had made the world, the Heaters were puzzled, not understanding. And, when the Anglicans celebrated Holy Eucharist in their midst, they understood sharing bread and wine but not the symbolism of the Christ.

This was going to be a long term proselytizing trip; so the Anglicans settled in. They had to make the Heaters understand about God and creation and Christ and love.

When the Anglicans first arrived, one of their members began learning the Heater language and all its nuances. Then she began translating the Bible into Heater. After all, the Reformation and the Evangelization of Africa had proven that people understood and accepted Christ better if they could read the Bible in their own language.

Some metaphors used in the Bible just couldn’t be translated, and the linguist looked for local metaphors to replace them. The parable of the sheep and the goats, for instance, had a comparable situation with some of the local animals. The images of light and darkness translated easily into heat and cold.

But, still the Heaters just didn’t get it. They were friendly enough, and families got to know one another quite well. As they discussed love, the Anglicans noticed that the rooms got warmer.

Finally, the linguist understood. She proclaimed, “God is love.” Everyone took off their sweaters and the hosts opened windows. There was great rejoicing as both Anglicans and Heaters understood that God/Love is life.

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