Ever Changing, Always the Same : Thursday Thoughts
     Phillips Memorial Baptist Church

Phillips Memorial Baptist Church
565 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island  02910



Rev. Dr. Amy Chilton: phillipsmemorialpastor@gmail.com

  Pastor Amy's Thursday Thoughts

Ever Changing, Always the Same

by Rev. Dr. Amy Chilton on 09/28/23

According to Merriam-Webster, the word “folx” was first used in 1833. The Cambridge dictionary claims it was first used in the 1990s. In either case, this word follows the practice of using an “x” to indicate all genders, such as in Spanish. Example: “latinx” takes the place of the male gendered “latino” or the male/female/super/awkward “latino/a.” This way of using “x” (which totally preceded Elon Musk) was then incorporated into “folx” in order to purposefully mean “all people” with the extra of it meaning “all people, of all genders, and all sexualities.”


“Folx” kind of goes well with our new ministry statement. And it has the added surprise of taking folx by surprise!


Folx, all really does mean all here!


Language is funny. Once we think we have it settled, it moves right along and surprises us with new little gems. Languages are always on the move. The English we know today is little like its forerunner in the 5th century. Have you ever tried to read an Old English document from back then? It’s enough to make you cry.


Is this talk on the shifting form of language making you want to cry? Good thing you didn’t sit through the adult Sunday Morning Bible Study where we talked about the addition of vowels to the Hebrew language and the complexity of reading God’s name, YWHW, when the vowels added to it are from another word and are added to make it unpronounceable!


Head spinning?


It gets a bit tricky, then, when we think that we use ever changing human language to talk about God who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Malachi also has the Lord speaking and saying, “I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O Children of Jacob, have not perished” (3:6). God is the same, yes, but God is the same in that God is consistently the God who is love. God is consistently the God who takes joy in us like God took joy in our creation (Psalm 18:19). God is not static because love is not static. And those of you who have loved know that to love means to always find ways to be loving and present to the one you love. And that does involve growth, change, and dynamism.


So, what about language? Language is part of this created world, ever growing and changing as we grow and change. There are words folx used 100 years ago that we wouldn’t use now - because they are antiquated or because they are harmful. And there are new words that will cycle into our lingo because we are creative people, always reaching for the infinite with what we have: language.


So, what words will you use this week to bring God’s love to those around you? What words might you let go because they no longer serve that purpose well?


Folx, whatever words you use, I pray that they will reflect brightly the God who is love to a creation that sits in waiting to know this good news.




Pastor Amy 

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