How fond are you of statistics? For me, after two or three pie charts or percentages, my head starts spinning and the numbers blur. So, just one set for today: ‘How many words are there in the English language?’ According to one source, there are more than a million total words, with about 170,000 in current use, with the average English speaker using between 20,000-30,000. Simply fascinating, would you not agree? (OK. That’s all. You can relax now). My curiosity was piqued on this subject because just when I think I’m up to speed on words, I come across an unfamiliar one in my reading (yes, I know, I do frequently fabricate fanciful Freeman words. My sincere apologies to all readers thereby irked). Often, from the context, I can get the new arrival’s meaning, but every once in a while one pops up that is so obscure I’m pushed to crack open the dictionary to make sure the author hasn’t adopted a similarly impish, Freeman habit. Here’s a word which, while not new to me, is one I don’t think I’ve ever spoken – or ever heard anyone include in a sentence – the word, ‘aver.’ My Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines ‘aver’ thus: to confirm as authentic; to declare positively. (Have you averred lately?)
I believe Jesus averred every day in every sentence he uttered. One such averment is found in Acts 1:8: “ . . . the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be seized with power. And you will be my messengers to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces – even to the remotest places on earth!” In this, I see three (3) positive declarations: 1. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, 2. You will be seized with power, 3. You will be my messengers. If these are truly boldly assured, straight from God’s throne room, divine promises, and not just possible future happenings if, if, if . . . , then, it seems to me, we find ourselves standing in a dynamic, advancing, Kingdom reality whose success and outcome have nothing whatsoever to do with who we are, who we aren’t, what we’ve done, what we’ve not done. Rather, it would seem that God’s Salvation Action in us (in us of all people!) through the finished work of Jesus on Calvary is so radically transformational as to (are you ready for this?) guarantee all three miraculous truths in the life of each one confessing Jesus as Lord. Or more to the point, we can now stand tall and make our own averments:
We aver that the Holy Spirit has come upon us!
We aver that we have been seized with power!
We aver that we are Jesus’ messengers . . . to the remotest places on earth!
Or, closer still:
I aver that the Holy Spirit has come upon me!
I aver that I have been seized with power!
I aver that I am Jesus’ messenger . . . to the remotest places on earth!
Well, one mission accomplished – a new word added to our daily vocab. Now, on to that other one! PD