This past weekend I had the opportunity to be out of context. A co-worker invited me to attend an 8:00 a.m. service at his church as part of the "bring a co-worker to church" day. My co-worker is black and as you might guess, his church is 99% black.
When he introduced his guests, five in all with three of us being white, he pointed out how happy he was we were there because it wasn't just a geographical line some of us had crossed, but a racial line too in order to worship with him.
It occurred to me how little progress we've made with regards to racial differences. Even in the 21st Century, whites still tend to worship with whites and blacks worship with blacks. When it comes to worship, we stick with those most like us, and as a result we miss out on great opportunities to praise and worship God.
I sensed a great enthusiasm and joy at being in God's house at his church. The people were more vocal and demonstrative of what they were experiencing. Baptist have in many cases earned the nickname of "the frozen chosen." I'm not sure the typical white Baptist church ever gets close to the total abandonment I experienced. But, I wish we could. I left feeling excited and think I may have been slightly more joyous to be worshipping God when I headed on to my church.
In defense of my church, we are more enthusiastic than most Baptist churches I've attended or visited. We clap and some raise their hands, but we're still pretty quiet compared to my friend's church. I think we're a work in progess.
Being out of context can be a little intimidating, but it can also be very fulfilling.