This the beginning of Holy Week: Luke 12:32 the words “good pleasure” mean: God’s joy, his desire, his want and wish and hope and pleasure and gladness and delight, is to give the kingdom to his flock, to us, His greatest delight!
I was so excited to go to church this morning. It is the beginning of Holy Week and Palm Sunday, my favorite holiday!
As I take my morning shower I decided I will wear a dress for the occasion. Now I rarely wear dresses, nope I much prefer blue jeans and nice top instead.
Since I only own a few dresses it is not a hard decision which one to wear. I choose the fuchsia multi colored one that flows so nicely in the breeze.
I arrive to the church and find the parking lot packed with cars. I don’t think I have ever seen it so full and it is not even Easter Sunday yet. With great anticipation hurry out of my car and into the church. People! Wonderful beautiful people. I am all smiles but to my dismay everyone is in their own little bubble, only the door greeter gives me a smile. Now it is very windy here today and chilly, not cold just chilly. By the time I make it into the church out of the wind my hair is an untidy mess. Maybe that is why no one is greeting me it looks unkept with my hair going every way but the right way. So I hurry and tidy it up but still no kind words or even smiles from the others. No problem I am really here to worship Jesus not to visit with people anyway.
But just I case I am dreaming and this is not really happening I give myself a good pinch so I can wake up. Ouch! I am awake! Carry on . . . I make my way to a seat on a row with one other person. I nod to greet her but she does not make eye contact. She looks so sad. Did I miss the memo. Did someone die and I didn’t know it. True I have not watched the news for several days and my twitter account only gets positive Christian saying and quotes . . . Note to self subscribe to some news pages.
Worship is wonderful but short. I love to ascend into long glorious worship and soar into the heavenlies right up to the throne. Ahhh such a blessed place.
Anyway, back here on earth . . . The pastors wife delivers the message. I enjoy her but she always preaches her husbands notes. She does a nice job but it lacks the passion that I am looking for. But having done that before I decided she does a pretty good job. I just wish she would not open the message stating, “this is my husband’s message so if you don’t like it blame him” so NOT what I want to hear. It leaves me thinking I wonder what I am missing by coming to this campus instead of the one where the pastor is preaching this morning. But it is all good! I had a Jesus encounter. I got her point, “The Lord said I have need of you. The donkey had destiny.” Ok just stay with me here, you know the donkey, Luke 19:29-35, her message was on the donkey having a destiny to carry the King of Glory. I know, I know but the worship at this church is awesome. Go figure!
At one point the pastor’s wife instructs us to stand and shake the persons hand that is sitting next to us. Say what?!? This is church I prefer a hug and a warm HELLO! You know what I mean? But it is all good. No problem. I am here not for the people but to encounter the Living God, right!
She finally gives the altar call and a few raise their hand while we all have our eyes closed, ugh come on, whatever happened to declaring our faith publicly? But it is all good no one knows who the ones are that raised their hands so they can leave with their head held high without any hugs or congratulations for acknowledging Christ. No problem. She closes in prayer, we sing another song and I decided to linger to see who I can greet. Maybe just maybe I can make a new friend. But no at the amen everyone races out, poof gone. Wow what a surprise, I have seen this happen before at this church. Maybe I should get a copy of the church rules. Maybe it is in the rule book, “Do not make friends with anyone!”
I have visited this church off and on since December, that’s four months. I SHOULD know at least one other persons name, right?
This Sunday is the children’s Easter egg hunt out back so I decide to wander out and watch. As I walk down the long hall the pastor’s wife passes me so I reach out and tell her she did a good job. She gives me a huge smile and says thanks and keeps going. But it was only a face smile. You know what that is, one where the lips are turned up so the teeth show and the eyes crinkle slightly. We have all practiced it before. My thoughts turned to me and the way I must have greeted people back in the day. I must have unknowingly done that. I must have brushed people off the way I was being brushed off. I must have. Shame one me.
Out in the yard there are hundreds of children of all ages and thousands of brightly colored plastic eggs in neatly arranged squares. I have never seen anything like this before. Ingenious! They organized the squares by age so that certain ages hunt from certain squares. Hunt was a strange word though because the eggs were openly laid on the grown for easy pickup. Once the rules were read in a couple of languages and whistle was blown and the children plowed into the squares and in moments all eggs were picked up. So greedy, what are we teaching our children. Oh well, it is all good, right. I am still trying to figure out why the rules were read in two different languages when the sermon is only in English . . . Go figure.
I try to strike up conversations with several who are waiting for the hunt to begin but to no avail. It is so cold standing out there wearing a dress so I decide to stand up against the wall out of the wind. There is another lady there too so I try to strike up a conversation. I learn she has been out of college for 3 months with no job. Did I tell you I live in a college town? I asked her what she went to school for and she responded to be a psychiatrist. Ok I am impressed. She went on to say that she only got her bachelors and doesn’t like to talk to people so she is not going to finish. What do you say to THAT?!?
Maybe she can get a job with a temp agency?
The hunt is over so I stroll to the car and head home. Maybe next week I will make a new friend.