Sometimes, meandering can take you somewhere you didn't exactly mean to go; such was my morning, and such is this post. This morning, I dropped Matt off at the airport. I'd intended to stay around the area and do some shopping, but I would have had to wait for at least an hour for the stores to open up. So I just started driving to see where I could get.
I ended up at church -- the one I think of as mine, which is really a UCC church in the town 20 minutes to the north. Despite having a UCC church in town, I prefer the one to the north; the one I occasionally attend is vibrant, open & affirming, and a just-peace congregation. It's also a college town with lots of intellectuals, which admittedly is more my kind of crowd.
The scripture and sermon today covered David post-Goliath. David became king and also moved the Ark to his own house after some minor trials and tribulations. What struck me most about the passage (2 Samuel 6 -- link has commentary too) was the wrath of God. My pastor chose -- perhaps rightly so -- to focus on the cheery part of David dancing with the delight of God. One of the things I love most about visiting church is hearing the sermon and how someone else interpreted the bible passage. For me, the parts concerning the wrath of God stuck out the most; but for my pastor, she was drawn to the rejoicing.
Is this a difference of opinion or a difference in attitude? It's hard to say for certain, but that is something I am mulling over at the current time.
If you're interested, go check out the passage completely with commentary. I actually find that this commentary adds a whole additional layer to my understanding of this passage. In gaining more perspectives, I often find it easier to see and comprehend the whole rather than just holding my own narrow viewpoint.
When my father reads bible passages, he ends with "May God add grace and understanding to the hearing and the reading of this word" (at least, I think that's it -- feel free to correct me). My denomination reminds us: "do not place a period where God has placed a comma; God is still speaking." I love those ideas and the implicit thought that we continue to learn and grow in understanding each time we read the bible.
And thus it was that I ended up at church this morning and spent a good bit of time contemplating just one short passage from the bible. At the end of church, I said hi to the minister and apologized for my clothes (I was not dressed in a churchy manner, as I wasn't intending to go). And she reminded me of perhaps one of the most important things the UCC says:
"No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here."