Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

John Denney, 23 November 2001

 

Well, oo-er.  Our Prime Minister has got a blind spot about spelling the word “tomorrow”.  He spells the “to” bit with two Os.  At least he did – three times - in a personal letter that got into the news.  Whoops!  Actually “tomorrow” is one of the most commonly mis-spelt words.  Poor old Tony.  I wouldn’t want to exaggerate, but it’s necessary to point out that it’s definitely an embarrassment to get the beginning of the word “tomorrow” wrong.  That’s six of the most difficult words.  Spot them?  Spell them? Exaggerate; necessary; definitely; embarrassment; beginning; tomorrow. And can anyone tell me the right way to spell “withhold”?  One H or two, it never looks right.

 

Spellings are only wrong when they flout a convention.  There is no law about it.  We spell “colour” with a U, but our American cousins get on perfectly well without it.  What about bough, cough, dough, lough, and rough?  All of ‘em spelled with o-u-g-h.  There’s no logic.

 

Words, even beautiful sounding words, can sometimes pose a problem.  When I was about ten or eleven years old, I concluded I would never get to heaven.  The reason was that I used to read the Authorised or King James Version of the Bible, translated into 16th Century English.  And I used to love the sound of the language, and all the “Thees” and “thines” and “begats” and “behoveths”, which amounted to something like a secret code that I loved to try to crack.  A verse in Mark’s gospel really threw me, though.  It said “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”  Well, I was no longer a little child, and I hadn’t received the Kingdom of God while I was a little child, so it was too late, or so I thought.  I had understood the little word “as” to mean “while”.  But translated into modern English, the verse says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it”.  Like a little child, not while a little child.  Hallelujah!: I was allowed in!

 

So it’s not too late for anyone to come into the kingdom of God.  All it needs is the simple trusting accept-it-at-face-value faith of a little child.  No quibbles about the spelling or the grammar, no discussion about the logic, just an acceptance of God’s love.  How about receiving the kingdom today?  For tomorrow never comes.

 

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