Tuesday, November 20, 2007
High Church Baptist?
Sunday evening I participated in an ecuminical thanksgiving service. I was asked to lead the responsive reading, and this I did from Psalm 118. We had a grand entrance, the congregation singing 'We Gather Together" and the respective clergy all processing in their finery. Not to be out done, I donned an alb and borrowed a stole. I think this is about the funniest thing one could see: a baptist in an alb and stole. Some might think that was a compromise of baptist principles or flirting with popish traditions; it was neither, I just like to dress up. It is part of my make-up, it is the way I was wired. Since I was a child, I dressed up: I had a costume for everything. If I was watching a war movie on the Saturday matinee, I would drag out my army suit and plastic tommy gun. If I were playing cowboys and indians in the backyard, I could select from my closet a cowboy hat, boots and capguns, or a feather headress and bow and arrow as the mood might suit me. Sundays at our house was a formal occassion. My mother believed in the saying, Sunday best". I was always dressed in a suit and tie, or nickers and a bow tie. I loved it. It has never changed: when I ride my motorcycle-leathers, when I go to my cousin's ranch-cowboy hat and boots, when I play the bagpipes- kilt, when I preach- sometimes a suit and tie, sometimes a frock coat, sometimes a zoot-suit, sometimes a button up shirt with blue jeans (which Christianity Today calls the new dress for the post-modern pastor), sometimes my doctoral gown and hood, and last Sunday evening an alb and stole. You can call me a high church baptist, you could call me crazy but just don't call me late for supper.