I was reminded recently about the power of the word "just." If you are like me the word just tends to slip into sentences without much thought. Its meaning slowly taints what we mean to say. Just is one of those challenging words because ironically enough it causes us to make judgements. I am not talking about "just" as in "the trial was just." What I am talking about is more along the lines of "the trial was just three days long." Now if the trial only lasted three days then the trial really was just three days long ... but we can also read that to mean the trial was only three days long and it could have, or even more judgmentally it should have been more.
Where this because real to me is when we start talking about faith. In The United Methodist Church we celebrate open communion, and there are times I try and define this as saying that "we just ask that you seek God in the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup." Now this might be the only requirement we ask but I would hope we realize it is not a simple one. One does not "just seek God" in a casual and minimalist way. It is not like saying we "just ask you to bring yourself" or other statements where just is meant to diminish a require and minimize the cost. When it comes to some maters of faith, just is not meant to minimize something it is meant to expand it. Maybe what is closer to the truth is not "we just ask ..." but instead "we ask that you just seek God ..." Still that same message of only God, but now not in a way to make it easy but in a way to make it hard.
What do we just ask of people ... and how do we limit ourselves with such a simple word ... but those are just my thoughts. :)