It seems like every time I wear my robes, I get kidded (explanation: it's only been over the past year that I've begun wearing my robes for special services and occasions). I've been called a 'gigantic marshmallow', the 'Michelin Man', 'really pretty', and a number of other things . But what happened yesterday afternoon took the cake!
Following our final worship service yesterday, we held a special service in order to consecrate one of our leaders as a lay pastor in our congregation. As I stepped forward to begin the service, one of the children turned to his mother and asked, "Why is Pastor Chris a Princess?"
Pretty funny, huh? Kinda cute, don't you think? But the comment was also innocently honest, and reminded me that SO OFTEN, I take the simple things, the little things, the common things for granted as I seek to minister and serve God's people. All too often I let teachable moments slip past me. And yesterday, the Lord used a precious, pure, and honest child to point out that often there are probably adults in our congregation who may also be wondering 'why' the pastor is dressed like a princess!
Ours is a post-Christian culture, and many of our people grew up never having been exposed to church stuff (like robes!). It's not that they don't like robes -- it's actually quite the contrary (really!). Surprizingly, I'm noticing that the wearing of robes seems to 'lift' the significance of what we're doing -- whether it's baptizing/dedicating an infant, performing a wedding, or conducting a special service like yesterday's. Maybe it's because robes seem to accentuate the fact that a sacrament or ritual is being performed (i.e. something considered holy). Yet despite all this, I can't forget the likelihood that many people (and children!) remain clueless about the symbols, vocabulary, and practices of our faith.
I guess Princess Chris had better get busy.