Monday, November 11, 2013

I Actually Went to Church...

Believe it or not I actually went to church yesterday. I should explain. I don't serve a hipster church. We have too many gray heads sitting out there on Sunday. And I don't serve a retiree church either. We have too many kids running around. We have representatives from all five adult generations.

I have police officers and convicted felons worshipping under one roof. Yesterday a young couple that recently married were sitting close to a man who recently lost his wife of 63 years. Our racial composition is diverse. We have people with such varied life stories...

Quite frankly our diversity can be messy at times. The expectations and needs of a 70 year old are different from that of a 25 year old. The worldview of a 60 year is not the same as a 20 year old college student. My older folks love traditional hymns and my 45 year olds would prefer something they heard on a contemporary Christian radio station. And the 20 something's might prefer a chant that a  monk wrote in the 4th century. There are days I would like to retreat to a monastery and hang out with some 21st century monks.

But yesterday was a notable exception. Yesterday we honored our veterans. All of our veterans... We asked them to stand, so we could acknowledge their service. I looked around and saw men that served in the jungles of Vietnam. And I saw others that predated the Vietnam era.  But there were two people in particular that caught my attention.

Larry is a World War II vet who rescued downed pilots out of the Pacific Ocean. His story is compelling. Sitting in the same section down from Larry was a young lady that just completed basic training in the United States Marine Corps. She is about 18 years old. She came to services in uniform yesterday.  She is scheduled to begin combat training in the next few days. Yesterday we were able to honor both of them, because we are diverse generationally.

I don't serve a hipster church. Larry uses a cane now. And somehow we are figuring out a way to serve young marines too.  It will continue to be messy at times. But I felt like I actually went to church yesterday, because church is supposed to be diverse. That is why I was actually able to go to church. It was the real thing.  As long as they keep a  bearded, graying guy around, I think I will keep coming to church.

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