One of my church’s held Homecoming Sunday yesterday – an annual tradition that’s much more prevalent here in the south than anywhere else. I confess that I’ve never quite figured out what the attachment is. Some years back, I asked folks at my church in Concord, NC,”Tell me again… What EXACTLY is Homecoming?” One member very quickly replied, “It’s when we invite everyone who left to come back to church and have dinner with us. Some of them who left mad might change their minds and come back!” My next question – there’s no other way to put this – didn’t go over very well: “So… now tell me WHY we might WANT people who left angry and in a huff to come back? Why would we subject ourselves to that all over again?”
All that kind of feeds into how I try to steer my current congregations towards some of these old traditions. And one thing I always do at Mulberry – every year, without fail – is a silly, nonsensical, sometimes downright stupid skit that will accomplish two things: One, it’ll make people laugh AND shake their heads. Two, it’ll make them wonder what’s wrong with a pastor who will do such nonsense?
This year’s “festivities” included a borrowed mini-bike, an Evel Knievel Costume, a 4′ wooden ramp, and a toy bus. This year’s special guest, the dare-devil “Super Rev” rode the mini-bike through the fellowship hall, jumped (a generous way of putting it) a city bus and lived to tell about it – all for your enjoyment and pleasure!
I was once accused of being a “Jester in the king’s court.” It was probably meant as a veiled insult; but I’ll take the title if it brings even a little happiness and laughter to people who need it more than ever.