…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. – Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NRSV)
Last Saturday, Dave and I went to an 80’s concert called Power Balladz with some friends. Already you know it’s going to be great because it’s 80’s music AND they spelled “ballads” with a z. For a month, we’ve been talking about Aqua Net hairspray and concert t-shirts. On our Saturday morning run, my friend and I spent most of our eight miles talking about what we were going to wear.
High school is like riding a bike – you never really forget how to do it.
We got together for dinner – and to do our hair – before the show. The guys watched rock videos while the ladies inhaled hairspray fumes, applied blue eye shadow and cut the collar out of that t-shirt so that it would hang just right on one shoulder. There was a lot of laughing – and I don’t think it was just the aerosol hair spray.
I dug out senior pictures, class rings, yearbooks, and Dave’s letter jacket. Others also brought pictures to share. We all had bigger hair – or just more hair – and less weight. We laughed at what we wore – and that you could buy a lot of it in stores today. It was fun to think back about who we were and what we thought life was going to be when our future was so bright, we had to wear shades.
While I definitely would not say we were doing “church” on Saturday night, there are some similarities.
Not everyone knew each other but everyone quickly connected over shared music and 80’s memories – as well as our jobs, kids and lives today. We celebrated what we shared rather than what made us different. We were able to come together and share an evening that transcended us as individuals.
There was dancing and the willingness to be foolish. But it was OK because it was authentic and without agenda. We were able to enjoy the moment.
After we returned home, we lingered out by the fire pit for more conversation and singing (until we realized how LATE it was and headed to bed). We just had fun. Together.
We came from west and east, north and south for a common purpose. We shared food and memories. We danced on the bus. And we laughed a lot.
Community is formed over the strangest things.
The Church has a serious mission. Lives are at stake. But we also need to remember to tease our hair, dance likes it’s 1989, and enjoy the experience of being with one another. We know that Jesus was tired, hungry, sorrowful and wept. But I have to believe Jesus laughed as well.
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. – Jeremiah 31:13 (NRSV)