Our New Experience

I will admit when I was first invited this weekend I was a bit intimidated. It was my first time going to a place like this. It was a new experience for me. Jenn, the girls and I finally decided to go after our friends had asked us for months. We had legitimate excuses in the past, but after a year of putting it off we finally went. 
The day started early. I mean EARLY. We had to wake up early on a weekend. Who are these crazy people who wake up this early on weekends. Our friends were kind. So as not to inconvenience us they not only picked us up, they also bought us donuts. 
Pulling in the parking lot I could tell that most everyone was dressed alike. I am glad we went to the store this past week so that we wouldn’t stick out to much. Parking was crazy. We had to park pretty far from the entrance. 
Approaching our destination we were met by a large number of men all dressed with ironed slacks and buttoned down shirts. Compared to these guys I felt underdressed. 
As we walked in I could tell that the usher at our door didn’t quite know what he was doing. After a bit of fumbling around we finally got in. 
We sat down in our seats and were taken back by the size of the facility. The video screen was crystal clear, the band was outstanding and everyone really wanted to be there. My only real complaint about this place was that the air conditioner was broke. 
The band began to play a song that everyone knew. All of a sudden without any prompting, everyone there began to sing. I didn’t know the words to the song, and to tell you the truth most of the words seemed pretty out of date. I mean, I think I’ve heard my grandparents use some of those words. 
As the crowd continued to sing, the guy next to me, a stranger, put his arm around my shoulder, he smiled at me, continued singing and then he started swaying. Some dude had his arm around me and was singing and swaying, WITH ME!
I will tell you that the people in charge weren’t afraid to ask for money. We were told where the money went and celebrated those who gave. They talked about money a lot. 
The craziest part was all the odd language, old language that was used that day. There were men, just men, who lead the in the reciting of all kinds of crazy phrases than must have meant something to the regulars.
Do you want to guess where I went this weekend… Saturday?
Church? Nope. 
Our family got to go to see the Texas Aggies at Kyle field. We had so much fun participating the traditions and pride of Aggieland. (Many thanks to the Hills for taking us)
What made our trip unforgettable is experiencing the culture and tradition that can only be found in College Station. I will admit, seeing 100,000 people swaying in a stadium together is pretty cool. For a stranger, seeing these traditions in action was fun. 
Ok make the jump to church with me for a moment. 
It seems in recent days that popular opinion tells the church to jettison everything that makes it unique. Popular opinion teaches us to mold and shape ourselves so that any person walking in could fit right in. 
I am glad that the Aggie game  was a completely new experience for me. Why? What made the game so special was all the things that seemed odd to me. I was included in an experience that was new to me, but historically rooted to them. 
Perhaps instead of hiding what makes us stand out in church, we instead should celebrate it. What if we were ok being odd like the Aggies and took pride in what makes us different? 
When I went to a Texas A&M football game, even though I was an outsider, I was included in the songs and became and Aggie for an afternoon. 

Perhaps through our worship we can introduce people to being apart of our body, putting our arms around them and helping experience the love of Jesus Christ. 

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