Over 20 years ago, I was invited to a church by a friend. She let me know that her church would be a very different experience and I may have culture shock. I pulled into the parking lot for the worship service and the church had a distinctive design which was neat. I ventured in to see what it was all about.
The first thing I noticed was that the diversity was different from the lily-white world I was accustomed to. It was a melting pot of people made of Native Americans, people of color, hippie-dressing people, members of what we call the LGBTQ community today, and others.
They sang music that was different to me, and the sermon was from the heart and how God helps the marginalized to get through life when you feel like you are always on the outside looking in.
It was the first time in my life hearing a sermon like this.
A Native American man led a prayer that was in his language and chanted. He referred to God as “mother.”
I was like, “Where am I?”
It took me years to appreciate how God worked through this moment to help shape me for ministry today. I came to see that moment in time as a glimpse of how the body of Christ could really be. There are so many beautiful expressions of worship. There are many ways to know God.
For where two or three are gathered in God's name -- no matter who, no matter where, no matter how -- God is there among them. Among us.