"Are we doing this to be like the disciples who feel asleep while Jesus was praying? Why on earth is it so late at night?" one of the guys asked. Another one expressed concerns over theology. Still another guy was concerned that we'd be too tired for Sunday services the next morning. (We probably should have listen to his concerns because he was right). And still another guys was concerned about the dress code. Despite all the concerns, I drug a group of baptist disciples to the Antiochian Greek Easter Service.
Why on earth would I go to an Greek Orthodox Easter service? Even more curious is why I might bring others with me.
To get the heart of this question, I should probably share that Jared Jenkins and I attended an Antiochian Greek Easter service a couple years prior. (We go to the Antiocian service because most of the 3-hour service is in English.) That was my first experience with this service. While there are some troubling differences with my theology and theirs, I found it interesting. And despite that it starts at midnight and you stand the entire time, I found it worshipful.
We recorded an on-location episode of Salty Believer Unscripted during that visit. You can listen to that recording here.
So now that I'm in the process of training up future pastors and leaders to go plant churches, I decided it would be a good idea to take them to the Greek Orthodox service. Generally speaking, they are all Baptist. And without a doubt, they are all Evangelical Protestants of the western tradition. What was I thinking?
I was thinking it would be a good opportunity to see something different. This service is different and it gave us a great deal to talk about. I also thought it might be helpful to get out of our normal context. . . which this most certainly achieved that goal.
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