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The Etiquette of AMEN

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

After fixing a bowl of my favorite cereal, on this slightly cool, crisp first Sunday morning in October, as always, I silently say grace. For some reason, as I munched and crunched and thoroughly enjoyed this bowl of yummy Raisin Bran, my thoughts went to the grace’s ending, “Amen.” Today, apparently God wanted me to think intently of the significance of this word and share–A word that we always end any form of prayer in, so here we go….

We, sometimes by habit or in some generalized nature of affirmation mouth the word “Amen.” Oftentimes, it is just a subtle expression of agreement, but at other times it can be an exclamatory release of verbally exhaling the same. But what does it mean in regard to its intended biblical purpose? Without researching, and being a woman who was raised in the church, for me, its original purpose was definitely to end a prayer, in affirmation, exaltation, and reference to God’s sovereign Word. This is still a practice in our daily lives, functioning outside of the church, but definitely a practice when we’re in a place of worship or biblical study. Normally, it’s an unsolicited outburst from something that has been casually stated within a church setting, but it is commonly the directed, religious practice of uttering this word after prayer.

Seems to me, this word is powerful! Seems to me, this word has origins of faith! Seems to me, this word represents being in total agreement with God! Seems to me, it is the official verbal signature of God’s word art. Seems to me, it should always be used in that framework or reference. Today, it seems more like a Divine word that should be protected. Today, it appears that I should think about how I casually use this word, “Amen.”  It’s not just ordinary language, it’s extraordinary wording, with extraordinary meaning, to be used in an extraordinary manner in reference to agreeing with an extraordinary God!

Continuing in thought and drawing parallels, I’m going way back to “ole skool” with the TV sitcom, starring Sherman Hemsley, entitled “Amen.” Wow…That immediately brings back visuals of episodes, fictional characters and a smile. 🙂 I’m also thinking about a recent R&B hit by one of my favorite artists, Anthony Hamilton, with the same title, “Amen.”  But what is warming my heart and my spirit on this Sunday morning is this wonderful tune by Howard Hewett, “I Say Amen.”  The verses that are marinating go like this:

             “But to be without is not His will, no               There’s cattle on a thousand hills               And they’re all yours to claim               Claim them in His Holy name               See, we don’t have to beg or crawl, no               He’ll see you standing proud and tall               He’ll give His everlasting love               Come to Him as you are”

So, to be without continuing to grow in Him, is not His will. Growing meaning learning and doing better, based on seeking and being receptive to knowledge. I, today, 53 years and 362 days from the day I was born, have renewed knowledge because of this Divine “dropped in my spirit” moment, and have been educated yet again about obedience. Educated that flippantly using words is not a good practice. I need to think out what words mean, their root definitions and their power and govern myself accordingly through speech and writing.

At this moment of expression, I am thinking of Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, Will of God”, and for that, I say, “Amen!!

Check out “I Say Amen” in Music’s “Manna."

Peace & Blessings, Lisa B

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