My head is still swirling at an unexpected moment that happened tonight at church where unknowingly my words brought life love and liberation to someones life. But first let's back up abit and let me explain. I am part of a church called More than 12. You can throw all your ideas away about what your impressions of going to church means because we are far from conventional. At our church we have DJ's spinning, rap artist rapping during the song and worship time. And we like to throw some flashing lights and fancy media stuff. At more than 12 we are gifted in areas of media. But more than just the exterior, our community is made up of people who don't fit the traditional ideals of church.
Even the structure of our service is different. We meet out at the pastors house in Surrey, we'll have our worship time and songs. Then pastor will give a talk. After the talk there is a time that is like a round circle time where anyone can give their thoughts, feelings and impressions. The idea is to offer up something that builds and strengthens the community. After that we take communion and then EAT. My favorite part of the service haha. But the idea is that we do a potluck and everyone brings something so that we eat and bond with each other and any leftovers we give to those who are low on food and struggling.
I had taken a break from going to church for the summer but I assure everyone that I'm not on a downward spiral of any kind and I'll be back. And when I got up this morning I felt like I should go so that's what I did. It amazes me that my first time back after a long while, someone would have an encounter with me that would rock their world.
We had gotten to the portion of the service where it was the round circle time and pastor was opening up the floor for people to share things to build the community. I asked for the mic and shared what had popped into my head not knowing the impact it was going to have on someone's life.
Many of us know the story of Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, the story that when the disciples came back and saw him talking to her they were in shock. However alot of people don't know the backstory from the jewish cultural side to why they were so floored. So I this is what i explained....
I explained at that time jews didn't talk to samaritans. Men didn't talk to women. And this particular woman had been around the block with 7 husbands so she was considered the lowest level of society. So let's put it all together, by talking to her Jesus was talking to a woman (cultural taboo), a samaritan (another taboo), who had a sleazy reputation (BIG TABOO).
And in doing so, Jesus Christ was violating every societal and cultural barrier. He did this in front of his disciples to show them, I am bringing a new way. A kingdom of inclusiveness that doesn't seperate people by race, class, gender. Up til now the disciples had in mind that a spiritual leader should follow the rules. There is no way that someone who is a prophet would be caught dead talking to a prostitute.
I went on to say that this is the example Jesus set but unfortunately the church went in the opposite direction and in it's religiosity resurrected those religious and societal and cultural laws and barriers. It's only in the last 20 yrs that church has gone back to it's roots and is taking the example of Jesus and becoming inclusive again.
So I shared this tidbit about Jewish culture and thought nothing of it. Later on while I was filling my plate up with food one guy comes up to me who is a member of the hip-hop community. He said in a low voice that when I spoke those words, those words were meant for him.
He went on the explain that he is an ex-pimp who came out of that life. And up until this moment, he knew about God's love in his head but after I shared my tidbit, he told me that he now truly knows that God loves him and he is free. His past isn't his present.
You see, when I talked about how Jesus is all inclusive and included someone like the samaritan woman who was at the lowest level of society, this young man and his past is the modern day equivalent of that. And hearing my story set him free to know he is loved and this is a kingdom where hierachy and segregation has no place.
It still floors me that just by being me, someone walked away changed and free and another bondage and shackle broken off their identity. There is no rational logical way to explain it but it seems as if every single person who cross paths with me in some way shape or form, something always good happens to them.
All I know is that the amazing people of More than 12 and I have every intention of modelling both our community as well as our personal every day life just the way that Jesus did that day at the well, the theme being that the kingdom is here and the kingdom is INCLUSIVE. Everyone is welcome....rap artist, actors, singers, man, woman, chinese, jews, samaritan, prostitutes and ex-pimp :)