My Baptist church recently celebrated Homecoming. This concept can be added to the pile of “Southern Things I Don’t Understand.” I have a nice collection of them.
I posed my uncertainty to my Facebook friends and they (essentially) told me it’s an excuse to get together and eat.
I don’t want to bash the tradition because hey, I like food and I like traditions. (Ok, and my pastor reads this blog, hi). But I do want to question it, mostly because I don’t understand it or the theology behind it. (The Facebook poll essentially said there isn’t any, feel free to disagree).
Why do we need an excuse to get together and share a meal?
The early church did that on a regular basis (see Acts 2).
If church is our home, why have we left so much so that we need to celebrate coming back?
If we were some huge church and we wanted to invite all of our church plants, missionaries, and ordained ministers back to share about how they’ve seen the Lord work, I would be all in. In that case, I think the service would look very different from a typical service. It might even include some bongos or some simultaneous praying.
Homecoming has also caused me to question what I do merely because it’s a tradition not because it’s Biblical.
I know it’s only September but I’ve got Christmas on the brain. Break out the carols and bring the snow! My family has some bizarre Christmas traditions. I bet yours does too.
Here’s the thing, Christmas with my family does include church but it does not include reading the Christmas story. No “Happy Birthday, Jesus” is sung in our house. Instead, we sing “O Tannenbaum.” Yup, a German tradition.
The biggest advantage to being a foreigner in Baptist Country is that I take the time to analyze why and how things are done–both my traditions and theirs.
It’s something we all need to do from time to time.
Make that time right now.
Why do you do what you do?
Do your traditions need to be examined and questioned?
Are you building excuses to eat or are you building a tradition of making a difference in Jesus’ name?
What are you looking for?