Confusing Signals but with a Good Result (Visiting Church #35)
Two weeks ago we stumbled upon this church. They are new to us, not coming up in any of our research. Once we know their name, my wife finds them on Facebook, confirming their location, but nothing else. Their denomination’s website lists service times, but no contact information. Candy sends them two Facebook messages (our only means of contact), but there’s no response.
I wonder if they even want visitors.
We arrive to a pleasant sight: cars in the parking lot. We pull into one of the last remaining spaces and walk towards the entrance. Once inside, no one greets us. Everyone is sitting and people are singing. Confused, I check the time; we think we’re early but seem to be late. We slink in, easing into the last row. I nod at the man to my left and try to smile. He returns the courtesy but then looks away. The song ends and nothing happens. We sit in complete silence.
We squirm for about ten minutes, and finally the service starts for real. We open with a hymn and hear a message from Zechariah; then we take Holy Communion. They share the bread in typical fashion, but skip the cup. Perplexed, I feel I’ve only received half of communion. Is omitting the wine a theological statement or a practice of convenience?
The service ends. Only then do people talk. Up to this point, they’d been stoic, but now they’re friendly. Many introduce themselves, ask our names, and thank us for visiting.
I’m appreciative of worshiping with them today and glad we went despite a lack of communication.
Today we worshiped God—and isn’t that the point?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.