Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Wastahili ewe bwana…"

”…kupokea utukufu."

This weekend was a good one.

I went to see the Desolation of Smaug Friday evening with my old gang of friends from junior high. It'd been a year since we'd seen each other, so the atmosphere was strange, but it was fun. I loved the movie overall, though I spent a lot of time cringing at how they changed the story. (My friend Matilda turned to me afterward and said, "I think Tolkien would be proud of this, don't you?" and I slowly shook my head.)

Last night I went to a birthday party thrown by two of my good friends from school. I was a bit apprehensive of it, but I went with two girlfriends, so it felt much more comfortable and relaxed.

More on that later.

This morning, I went to church, bright and early. I've been in New Life (in Alvik, Stockholm) since I was nine, but the past two years or so I've gone on my own since my parents moved to a new church plant further in town. It still feels weird, but it gives me a sense that my faith, and my relationship to church, is my responsibility. (Camilla, I see you grimacing, but this is insight into my life.) The setup of an average Sunday service is pretty standard; we start with singing worship, which is followed by an offering and announcements, and a fika break before one of our pastors goes up to preach. We finish with another song.

Today, the worship was a bit different. One of our more charismatic members, a Dutchman named Tjebbo, was in charge, and organized it so that four different ethnicities led the singing one after another. At this point we were all kind of looking at each other wondering how this would work out, but once it got going, it was kind of amazing.

It started with a Filipino group. Then, some of our African members went up, and sang two songs in Swahili—at this point, we were all getting into it and clapping and laughing. Then a Mongolian group went up and sang "Bless the Lord O My Soul" in Mongolian, with the rest of us singing in English, still clapping and cheering.

It was at this point that I realized how amazing all of this was. Here we are, from every corner of the globe, singing together. I look around at all these people, many of whom I haven't met, and they are family. These cultures that by all accounts should not be able to mix are connected by our shared faith in God.

Often when people ask me questions about Christianity, they get hung up on the details–"You're Christian, so you can't do -insert socially acceptable practice here-", or "If you're a Christian, how do you explain -insert out-of-context Bible verse or unfair situation here–"—but that misses the point of what Christianity is. It misses the soul: the sense of belonging, the fellowship, a  relationship with the God who created you, and a certainty of a hopeful and bright future.

1 comment:

  1. If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you need to watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Text Your Ex Back?