This last Sunday, Palm Sunday, I played at a church in Mississippi. I played a couple songs in the morning service and then a show that night. The thing that I’ll remember most about the day was what the bulletin called “a time of fellowship and greeting”.
Now, I’ve gone to church every almost every Sunday of my whole life and I have never experienced a “time of fellowship and greeting” quite like this one. Most protestant churches seem to have them, that awkward 45 seconds of hand shaking before the pastor tells you it’s time to “take a seat”. Awkward because of the faces you recognize but names you’ve forgotten, awkward because you’re in that sleepy sunday morning haze, awkward because it tends to feel sort of forced.
But not this church. At this church you would have thought the service just ended because of the sudden bustle and noise. Everybody moved about the room to give hugs or catch up on each others lives. It seemed natural and enjoyed by all. It was a fresh moment for me.
This made me consider the whole idea of greeting each other in this way. So I did a little research and it seems to date back to the early church when they would greet each other with a kiss. or a “holy kiss”. So that turned into a “kiss of peace” or “the passing of the peace” that happens during a celebration of the Eucharist. And that has turned into “a time of fellowship and greeting” in a lot of our churches today. I found an interesting conversation about all of this at this blog, if you are interested in this sort of thing.
I’m not trying to convey some huge opinion that i have about fellowship and greeting time. I’m just sharing my favorite moment from this last Sunday, and if you’re one who likes to investigate, encouraging you to do some investigating into the Why of some of our Sunday morning traditions.
I love this quote:
Don't be yourself. Be someone a little nicer. -Mignon McLaughlin