The Wandering Armenian

When reading or listening to people how often do we read or hear what we expect to read or hear?  A good example of this has happened in many churches that use the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL).  The reading for the first Sunday in Lent has the passage, “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor;” (Deuteronomy 26:5) It is not uncommon for the reader to say, “A wandering Armenian” instead of Aramean.  There have been many other instances in and out of church where words were misspoken or misread.  Sometimes they are quite amusing, such as reading “sexual imortality” instead of “sexual immorality”.  Sometimes they can change the whole meaning of the discussion.

Why is it that we do this?  I have done it, and will, most likely, do it again.  This evening as I was browsing through an online journal database as part of my research for essays I found that I was misreading a couple of the titles.  The reason? Fatigue.  My eyes were getting tired and not focusing on the letters correctly.  Other times it may be a transposition of letters or numbers that is involuntary.  Where it gets more tricky is when it is because we do not want to read something or say something the way it is written, or meant to be said.

This then leads to the question of why we are not wanting to read what is written or say what is right.  In these instances it is important to take the step back and ask ourselves this question.  Equally, or perhaps even more importantly we then have to answer the question honestly even if we don’t like the answer we get.  How will you deal with the next wandering Armenian Aramean you encounter?


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