[x_image type=”none” float=”none” src=”https://www.stjohnsgc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/DanishFlag.jpg” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]

A Thought from Denmark on the language barrier: I know about 5 words in Danish. Not all that helpful. And yet the language barrier is hardly a barrier at all. Why? Because many here have learned to speak my language. And yet I’m fascinated as I listen to the Danes talk back and forth. I understand nothing. Sometimes things are translated for me. Sometimes not. I think we do the same thing in the church. The world no longer speaks our language. The Church (rightly so) is obsessed with things like the sacraments and scripture as our authority and so many more… But, to the world, this sounds like gibberish. Are we willing to translate? Are we willing to leave our native tongue to welcome in the foreigner? to get outside of our blockheadedness so that those who don’t know Jesus might come to know Him? There are certainly times for conversations about sacraments and the rest, but we must become more aware of our surroundings… I’m so grateful for the hospitality I am experiencing. I hope to learn to extend it as well.

Another Thought from Denmark: The hospitality continues. Ethan and I ate lunch today with a delightful family. They welcomed us. They fed us. They were gracious and kind. They shared with us some delightful Danish food. It was wonderful. But then they really let us in. This beautiful couple opened up their story to us. They shared of their life. And they opened up to share of their sorrows and pain. It was here that their true beauty radiated. To openly share of their hardships and to reflect on the gifts that God has given them because of those sorrows–I was speechless. It is one thing to know that God is with you through the storm. But to hear of a family who has lived it, and let’s the light of Christ radiate in the midst of that pain… It is God’s beauty incarnated in our flesh.

Tuesday’s Thoughts from Denmark: 1) I spoke this morning about the 2nd step of the Faith5: Reading a verse of Scripture. I spoke about some of the hard things of life, like death. Pointing to the hope and power of Scripture is our strength and our best response. After I was finished a mother of a 6 year old shared with me about his faith. This 6 year old shared this nugget of Gospel Truth: God is going to have so much fun opening all of those treasure boxes someday. Treasure boxes referring to our caskets. Thank you young David for a beautiful picture.
2) I walked by a tent this afternoon. It was a teaching on marriage relationships. The leader was showing a movie clip from “The Story of Us”–in English. I was drawn in by the simple hearing of my native tongue. Translating the Word of God and the Truth of Jesus into the native tongue of our culture is so vital.
3) I could watch Danish children playing with squirt guns all day long.

Wednesday’s Thought from Denmark: Worship is worship, no matter the language. I have been moved by listening to the songs of praise. Without knowing the language and understanding very little, they have still become my songs of prays… The Spirit moves and when the Spirit moves, you need no interpreter.
Plenty more to share, but it will have to wait for tomorrow…

Thursday’s Thought from Denmark: The world really isn’t all that big. The struggle against human sin knows no boundary. It needs no passport. It is everywhere. Fallen human nature effects and affects us all. And it does so in the same way. The struggles we face in the United States are so very similar to the struggles families face here in Denmark. How to insulate our children with an identity rooted in Christ to keep them anchored in a society that has little to now use for Jesus–at least in society’s mind. We all struggle with priorities. We all struggle with investing daily time in the Word. We all struggle with the challenges presented by our culture, our governments, and the broken human condition. We all need to be encouraged. We all need to be reminded of God’s grace. We all need to be inspired from time to time. We all desire the best for our families. And we all fear that, too often, we are failing to deliver. In short, we all need Jesus. And the beauty of this small planet is that as our gaze focuses on Jesus we are drawn together–we are united to those right next to us and to those who live on the other side of the sea.

Thought from Denmark: It is Friday. We have been at camp for 6 days now. In this short time my family has expanded. I now have hundreds of brothers and sisters in this beautiful land. We are united by the Blood of Christ. We are joined under the claim of our Baptism. We are refreshed by the same Word of God. Ethan and I have been welcomed into people’s homes and into their lives. In the United States, we are very polite. We know how to greet people and how to make acquaintances. But it is difficult to make true friends. We are good at keeping our guard up and keeping people at arms length. While far from rude, the polite welcome of the Danes is less so. It is harder to meet people. But, I have been overwhelmed, that when you do you are brought in–you are made family. It has been so wonderful. This FC2 – Familiecamping 2has been a glimpse of Heaven. As much as I miss my family at home, I will truly miss this place and I am sad to leave. Until we meet again, may the Lord God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Saturday’s thought from Denmark: I feel a little like Peter, James and John today. The Lord gave them a true gift–to see a glimpse of who He truly is as Jesus was transfigured. And the three disciples were moved during that time together. We have spent a week seeing a true glimpse of our Lord as He manifested Himself in the midst of the community of FC2. And now, as we have left camp, we too have had to come down off of the mountain. I have been blessed to meet new brothers and sisters in Christ and our bond will not be broken. Through the miles (kilometers) and through the years–we remain connected. Bless you all to my family in Denmark. And many thanks to Kevin Højgaard Morgan and Bodil Højgaard Morgan for being there at the base of that mountain to greet us, and to remind us that the glory of Christ is still among us. We are blessed by you and your precious daughters!

Sunday’s thought from Denmark: Yesterday we took a 3 hour train from Camp to Copenhagen. The train network throughout Europe amazes me. It is so different than the United States. There is something wonderful about the trains. It provides some rigidity. Cars and highways are much more flexible. Train stops are not always convenient to where you want to go and you have to follow their schedule. But there is something endearing about the rails as well. Sometimes in life we need rails to ride on. Often times in our Christian walk we need rails to ride one. Set pathways that are clearly marked, that provide some rigid structure. We need, sometimes, for someone to say, “Do it this way.” The freedom of Christ is so very wide. Wide enough that we can get lost in it. What a joy it has been this past week to share some of the ways that we follow Jesus as a family. To tell people to “do it this way.” My prayer remains that my teaching will draw people to Christ as followers and as families.

[share title=”Share this Post” facebook=”true” twitter=”true” google_plus=”true” linkedin=”true” pinterest=”true” reddit=”true” email=”true”]

Read More

[column type=”1/2″][recent_posts count=”1″ orientation=”vertical”][/column][column type=”1/4″][recent_posts count=”2″ orientation=”vertical” offset=”1″][/column][column type=”1/4″ last=”true”][recent_posts count=”2″ orientation=”vertical” offset=”3″][/column][clear]
[x_author title=”About the Author”]

Pastor Scott Ness

Pastor Scott Ness loves stories and finding ways to use ordinary, everyday life to point to our amazing God. He strives to see with eyes of faith. He fails consistently. Through it all, God remains faithful and full of grace. When Pastor Scott isn't running around the church he is often found at home with his wife, Deanna and their six children.