Is sin a sinful word?

Inside HOME is an awesome article on urban gardening,
including CMM’s garden.

I had a conversation with a friend this week about the ‘S’ word. The dreaded ‘S’ word. Yes we were talking about SIN. Our discussion revolved around whether the word was still “useful” or whether there are such negative connotations attached to the word that it is a stumbling block to itself. Has sin become a sinful word? Well I guess it all depends on one’s definition. And what I was reminded about in our discussion was that we definitely meant different things when we used the ‘S’ word.

A few years ago I attended a set of five economic lectures. I remember how surprised I was when the professor used the entire first lecture to simply clarify a number of economic terms. He justified taking up so much time on a glossary, saying: “Without the use of these specific terms I am unable to explain the discipline of economics to you.” There is a new language that must be learnt first in order to fully understand the particular discipline.

As it is with economics, so it is with theology. There are certain words that are unique to the discipline. They have a history of meaning that will be lost if the word is replaced by a modern “equivalent”. Words like: sin, salvation, grace, faith, death, life, justice, healing, eternal life, heaven and hell all carry important and peculiar meanings that are lost in the common day-to-day usage of them. In fact they can even end up meaning the very opposite to their original meaning.

Some of you attended Connections a few years back — well I have decided to run it again on Wednesday evenings starting on the 9 October. Even if you have done it — come again because it’s always new. It will be an opportunity to clarify our understandings of the words we use to hold the meaning of our lives, as well as grow community.

Grace, Alan

Yom Kippur the Jewish Day of Atonement was observed on Sept. 13-14, 2013. The Day of Atonement is considered the most important day of the Jewish year. Yom Kippur marks the end of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of teshuvah (Jewish reflection, repentance and return) that begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

During the Days of Awe, Jews seeks forgiveness from friends, family and co-workers, a process that begins with Tashlich, the symbolic casting off of sins that is traditionally observed on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah by throwing bread into a body of water. On Yom Kippur, Jews attempt to mend their relationships with God. This is done, in part, by reciting the Vidui, a public confession of sins. The holiday has the most extensive prayer schedule of the Hebrew calendar and arduous abstinence from food, drink, sexual intimacy and animal-based clothing, such as leather.

All major Jewish holidays, including Yom Kippur, consist of four main prayer services: Ma’ariv, Shacharit, Musaf and Mincha. Yom Kippur, though, is unique. It begins with Kol Nidre, a legal document that is hauntingly chanted and emotionally charged. The Book of Jonah is read during the afternoon prayer service on Yom Kippur day.

The Day of Atonement is the only Jewish holiday that includes a fifth prayer service, called Ne’ilah, which is a final plea of repentance before the gates of heaven are said to close. The Ne’ilah service precedes the shofar blowing and the end of the fast

While Yom Kippur is characterized by solemn fasting and marathon prayers of repentance, it is actually considered the most joyous day of the Jewish year because it commemorates God’s forgiveness of the sin of the Golden Calf, the Israelites’ slip into idolatry after the giving of the Ten Commandments, and is considered a time to spiritually start anew. (Via Huffington Post)

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