March 24, 2013 – Baptist

Baptists subscribe to a doctrine that baptisms should be performed only for professing believers. Therefore, they don’t do infant baptisms. They also believe baptism should be immersion. Baptists have been diverse from the beginning and even today each church varies on what they believe,  how they worship, and their attitudes towards other Christians.

I got to the church shortly before the service, was greeted with handshakes three times, the last of which was the pastor of the church. I sat somewhere unobtrusive. Then I realized I forgot it was Palm Sunday as someone handed me a palm frond.

Palm Sunday is always held the Sunday before Easter. Palm Sunday commemorates the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-9), when palm branches were placed in his path, before his arrest on Holy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday. It marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent.

So I held my palm frond as we all waved them as the choir entered down the aisle and the service was about to begin. One woman hit me in the face with hers. Seeing as I was in stealth mode, I did nothing. Anyway, she hadn’t even realized she’d done it. No harm.

The music at this church was BEAUTIFUL. The choir was gorgeous, and they made use of piano, strings, a clarinet, and possibly other instruments I couldn’t see. Talk about praising God with everything you have.

The service was still not too much of a departure from United or Anglican. No Communion this week, but the Anglicans do it every week. The sermon was nice, I learned more about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. I learned that in the book of Luke (several books tell this story) there are no palms. Being raised in the church with palms every Palm Sunday, this surprised me.

And I learned a Roman soldier who won a great victory had a triumphant parade into town around the same time, with armies and a golden chariot and war horses.

And still, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was called the Triumphal Entry, with Jesus on a donkey, surrounded by his disciples, as they enter town crying “Hosanna” and laying clothing at the feet of the donkey, so that it didn’t have to touch the ground.

I prefer the second one, actually. That’s the one I’d be at. What about you?

And I have a confession, dear readers. I would like to slow down this blog because I think today’s church is one I’d like to attend more often. I’d still blog each time I attend some sort of service. If the denomination is the same for a few weeks, or more entries are based off of online bible studies and audio sermons, will you stick around? Let me know in the comments.

 

CHURCH COMFORT RATING: 9/10

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