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Word Salad

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I have a good friend who once spoke to me of how he had been “myesled” by some people in a business deal.  Being an educated person, and not wanting to appear illiterate, I was hesitant to ask what “myesled” meant.  I began to try to analyze the word myself, thinking that perhaps its root was a reference to “miser”, and concluded that his business deal was being complicated by someone who was trying to be “cheap” or avoid paying full value.  That interpretation made sense, so I went with it.  I assumed I would later look it up, but forgot.
    The next time he used the word, any reference to miserly or cheap, made no sense in the context.  “myesled”?  What could it possibly mean?  Finally, I asked him to spell it for me.  “Sure,” he said.  He began “M”, “I”, “S”, “L”, “E”, “D”.  I repeated it back to him, smiling.  “Yes,” he murmured.  “Why are you smiling?”  I told him how the word was pronounced:  “miss-led”. For all of his life he had mispronounced it, but quite certain that he was right.  Sometimes our use of language is changed over time; in pronunciation, meaning or emphasis. In the end, it all can seem like a bit of word salad.
     In the conclusion of Luke’s Gospel, reference is made to a word which has been misunderstood, misstated and misused over the centuries.  Celebrate the resurrection as the quintessential sign of God’s love for us; a story that we are called upon to share with all God’s children!
    
    Pr. Luther

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