PROPER PRONUNCIATION

Lucy and DesiChrist did not take on Himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to Him, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 5:5-7

 

I Love Lucy was an American television comedy broadcast on CBS from 1951 to 1957. In the series, Lucille Ball and her real-life husband, Desi Arnaz, played a married couple (Lucy and Ricky Ricardo) whose hilarious experiences highlighted their characters’ loving relationship but also their many differences. Arnaz, originally from Cuba, spoke with a heavy Spanish accent. In one episode, Arnaz’s character Ricky receives tutoring from his wife Lucy in the proper pronunciation of English words. She asks Ricky to practice reading a children’s book for their son, Ricky Jr. Ricky begins reading about a peasant who spends his days in the forest cutting tree “booches.” Lucy quickly corrects him: “boughs,” she says. Ricky complains that the word doesn’t look like the way it’s pronounced. He reads on about the peasant’s hands which “become strong and ‘ra-oo.’” Lucy says, “rough,” and again Ricky shakes his head. Next, the peasant works quickly and his day is soon “thruff.” Exasperated, Lucy corrects him, saying “through.” Ricky throws the book down and says, “I’ve had enough! Or should I say, ‘e-new?’” He then states that Spanish is a much easier language than English, which by now is an understatement.

 

I understand how Ricky felt. I have often had to read Scripture passages at church that have many difficult names in them. Though I check the pronunciation guides and practice the readings ahead of time, I’ve stumbled many times when it came time to say the names correctly in a church full of people. Names like Melchizedek from today’s passage, or Abel-meholah from 1Kings 19:16, or the names in the genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3 can throw even the best linguist for a loop. Fortunately, today we have Google, the pathway to a number of sources of help in saying Bible names correctly. And it is important to remember that God knows we are from another time and that we speak another language from the ones spoken and recorded in Biblical times. God gives us a pass for our faulty pronunciation. He’s just happy we are reading His Word at all!

 

Lord, You declare that we are a “priesthood of believers.” Thank You for Your faith in us! Amen

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