It was Founders’ Day Weekend in Dripping Springs, Texas. Think barbeque (a LOT of barbeque), a big midway sporting rides I can’t imagine strapping myself into, and vendors selling all sorts of items from farmhouse tables and hand-carved knives to kettle corn and batter fried Oreos.
On Friday night we went to a parade that would surely rival any other in small town America. Picture this:
- a marching band, heavy on the brass section.
- a chiropractor driving a pickup truck lined with fake skeletons (I kid you not!).
- simple floats filled with kids of all ages throwing candy and koozies into a crowd of waving watchers with plastic loot bags at the ready.
- hundreds (thousands?) of people cheering as their neighbors paraded past.
On Saturday we toured the competing barbeque booths, willingly tasting their creations, often for free. I ate more meat than I usually eat in weeks! Tony helped judge the best brisket of the festival. Steve tried smoked rabbit (but don’t tell Elizabeth). That was all great fun, but then came Sunday.
The web advertised, “Join the community as all the churches of Dripping Springs come together to worship our Heavenly Father.” I’ve got to admit, I wondered how that was going to work. But, boy did it ever work! Here’s how:
- We met outside, sitting on folding chairs, in bleachers or standing to the side.
- We sang old hymns and new, the words printed on simple pages handed out by volunteers.
- We prayed, mostly in English, with a bit of Spanish thrown in.
- We listened to Scripture in a variety of versions.
- We gave an offering for the poor, collected in plastic buckets.
- We took communion, served by some in robes and some in shorts and plaid shirts.
And it was awesome. Nobody talked about differences. We just talked about Jesus, and worshiped him and wished we could go on all day. Turns out, no surprise really, that all Christians have a great deal in common, and we celebrated that.
Now, look at that first photo again. Here’s a zoomed in version. Seeing that shirt was one of my favorite parts of the whole festival. It was true on Sunday, and it’s still true today.
The photo’s a little blurry, but the says words say “The CHURCH has left the BUILDING.”
We are the church. We have left the building. Let’s all go be the hands and feet of Jesus together today!