Saturday morning, I felt like a heathen. I've always been pretty conservative in the way that I dress. My most risque moments stem from being nearly six feet tall - it can be kind of difficult to find skirts and dresses of an appropriate length when you're this tall, you know. I'm hardly ever fashion-forward, and I live my life in a perpetual fear that Stacy and Clinton will accost me in the grocery store. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.
Anyway, that's all beside the point.
Saturday morning, I got dressed in a T-shirt and capri pants, hopped in the car, and headed off to practice for the community Easter service. It was at the Pentecostal church. When I walked in the door, I instantly felt conspicuous in my capri pants. I was surrounded by women in floor-length denim skirts with their looooong hair tucked into buns on the back of their heads.
We, clearly, were very different.
But we were also the same. We were there to worship together and prepare for a community gathering of all the Christians in our area. Twice a year, we lay aside our differences and come together in celebration. The pastors from all the churches each share a short message. The choirs mingle together, and we stand on the common ground of faith that we share.
Yesterday afternoon, we gathered together and collectively turned our hearts toward the cross. It was Palm Sunday, and we heard about the hope, and joy, and grace, and new life, and forgiveness, and peace that comes from the cross. I daresay we all had our uncomfortable moments, but we spend so much time talking about our differences that it's nice to lay them aside at least for a little while. It's one of the things I miss most about my days at Beeson.
I love the fact that at the community services, a woman preaches from IBC's pulpit. I love the fact that the Pentecostal preacher makes the less lively of us squirm in our seats. I love the fact that we're in it together, differences and all. It's such a beautiful picture of what heaven will be like. Sometimes it's good to be uncomfortable. We're all different, but the cross is strong enough to bind us together.
On this Holy Week Monday, I hope that your heart is turning toward the cross. That your mind is stayed on the One who gave up everything for us. And that you're clinging to the hope that sprang to life with His resurrection.
Until next time, grace and peace.