Are you fluent in Melliferese?

Chatting with garden friends is always a joy, as we share the ups and downs of our feeble attempts to tend the earth and subdue it.

Today, however, in sharing my happy/sad feeling of losing some more garden space to yet another beehive, I used terminology that may not have been readily understood by someone who doesn’t keep bees. And no, Evelyn did not understand what a nuc box was.

While I did my best to explain the terminology, I realized that it might have been best to just call the thing a “mini-hive.” After all, the new colony will hopefully outgrow the nuc box very quickly and be transferred into a standard beehive. 

Fellow beekeepers, see what I did there? I did NOT say, “transferred into a medium hive body,” or some such gobbledygook. My friend would understand if I bemoaned the fact that the new hive is directly on top of some new Veronica she shared with me a year ago. The rest of my friends and family would just call those “the little bright blue flowers.” While my friend is fluent in horticultural nomenclature, she doesn’t understand the language of beekeepers.

Do we use “ecclesiastical jargon” when we talk with the unchurched? That would be as foolish as my speaking “Melliferese,” or language pertaining to Apis Mellifera, the common honeybee. 

It leaves the hearer with two options. They can ask what you meant, if they dare. They can stifle their embarrassment over not knowing what the word means — and you’ve wasted your breath and their time. 

One preacher offers an invitation by saying, “We will give you the opportunity to sit on the front row as we stand and sing.” I often wonder if anyone gets the impression that the seat of honor at the front row is an end to itself, or has some mystical power. 

My good hubby and I once studied with a couple who seemed to be ready to make the decision to put on Christ, and we offered to baptize them. What we failed to realize is that they hadn’t fully understood that the English word “baptize” still means “immerse” in spite of its misuse over the ages. 

We had studied the mode of baptism, the reason for it, and the urgency and importance. They DID want to be immersed. We failed to understand that they still thought of baptism as a baby being sprinkled with holy water.

Thankfully, once things were cleared up, the husband and wife put on Christ (Galatians 3:27)  by being immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

True communication can only be accomplished when we understand one another. Sometimes that takes more work than we realize! 

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