This weekend was a little more fun than usual. For some reason I have been a little heavy on the administration end of things and this weekend more enjoyable things happened. We had our Eucharistic procession, our choir concert went phenomenally (after many years of singing I hadn’t sung in a choir in 13 years), and today we had a meeting with the local synagogue.
We actually share a property line with the Beth El and they invited us over to meet. We showed up at their beautiful building just before lunch to meet with the rabbi, and three men who represented various leadership roles. We walked through their worship spaces, the school, and the banquet facilities with two humongous kitchens for keeping kosher.
There were a number of things that symbolically marked our differences. Instead of an occasional inscription in Latin there would be one in Hebrew. We might share some Old Testament symbols but ours would be pointing toward their role in Christianity. In place of the occasional cross they had a menorah. I had a Roman collar on and they wore yamakas.
We often speak about Christians being in the world but not of the world. We are citizens of our nations but having a true citizenship on heaven. We are in exile waiting to go home. Growing up in a city that had a lot of strong ethnic groups it was interesting seeing how they interacted. “This is the Slovenian parish and they sing this and eat that. This is the Polish parish and they sing this and eat that and dance the polka like this . . .” It felt a little bit like that meeting at the synagogue, as if we were each representing people living here and now, providing a place to be and experience a connection to our homeland, being fully citizens of this world while waiting to go to ours.