So here I am on day 1 thinking of holy ‘A’ words.
Annmarie…? nah I don’t think so.
Ann, is a form of Hannah, who I believe was the mother of Mary; and of course, Marie comes from Mary. So, even though Annmarie is made up of the names of Jesus’ mammy and granny, when you put them together you end up with me. That knocks holiness out of play 🙂
However, I had a rummage around for an interesting ‘A’ word that might be closer to holiness than my own name; and I found this word, ‘adiaphora’
TheFreeDictionary.com tells us that it is, “a Christian Protestant theological theory that certain rites and actions are matters of indifference in religion since not forbidden by the Scriptures.”
The concept itself is familiar to me but I didn’t realise it had a name. If you think about it, it’s a big part of Christian life. When we think of guidance for some of the big things we ‘choose’ – spouses, jobs, money, which church to attend etc – there are few hard and fast rules. We know we should work, and should gather together in fellowship, and should be good stewards of what we have – using it wisely etc. But although I know I shouldn’t work in a brothel, there is nothing in the Bible to say that I shouldn’t be a civil servant, accountant, hairdresser or dog groomer.
We’re not told what person to marry, how much is too much to spend on a house, or whether a church is holier with or with or without a pipe organ or drum kit. We’re to use our wisdom and discernment, seeking God’s guidance and will for our lives. I also believe this connects to preference and diversity. I don’t see all the varied styles of church as disunity or contradiction. I see them as a gift from God. We’re all different and have different likes and bugbears. So He has made a vast range of worship styles and building shapes, so that we can – with all our foibles and oddities – find a place to worship Him in, and a group of people to worship Him with.
So here’s to adiaphora!
I only hope that my search reveals more interesting words for the rest of the alphabet.
Happy A to Z to you all,