Diakonia

Diakonia - GreekI love words, their full richness and influence is important.  As a teen I studied Latin for 5 years, then Russian, German, French, Spanish  and I have even dabbled a bit in Mandarin (Do not ask me to do anything in Mandarin, I’m still getting through inflections).  I lived in Latvia for a year after high school and was street fluent in Latvian for a time.  I can still hear the lyrical language clearly, but after 20 years with nearly no practice the words don’t form on my own tongue quite as well as they once did.

As I have delved into this calling, there is an inevitable relationship to language which results.  After all none of the bible occurred during the era of modern language and everything is a translation, often many times over.  I have therefore grown to deeply appreciate words which are as few translational generations removed from the events as possible.  One such word is diakonia, which of course related deeply to my own sense of calling and therefore is a good place to delve into the language with gusto.

In the book Many Servants: An Introduction to Deacons, By Ormonde Plater, diakonia is clarified as servant ministry.  It is from this work that deacons take the name of their order.  That said looking at the dia and konos separately the etymology is that we should διά (diá) “completely, throughout, and in all directions” κονος  (konos) “set oneself in motion.”  It sounds to me like an order from God to get on with business.

The amplitude of the word is the only one I have found to describe the sense of calling that I have felt.My inner logophile is at once comforted, invigorated, daunted and challenged.

Happy to be of service,

Chris

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