Any language learner will know that language mirrors culture and often belies the values which underpin the life of a group.

I had a fresh insight of this when I wrote in my Arabic homework that my neighbourhood was friendly. My teacher said that the adjective friendly isn’t needed in the Arabic because the word neighbour /neighbourhood implies friendliness within it.  So the concept of a neighbourhood as unfriendly is an oxymoron in the Arabic…Neighbours are to be known, to share life’s ups and downs with, to work together with for the sake of each other , to ‘be friendly’ by definition.

It adds meaning and challenge to the thought that Jesus, in the incarnation, chose the friendship method by  ‘ moving into the neighbourhood ’ in order to make God fully known to those in His community.

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