And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, "Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you." Matthew 26:73
It was a Monday morning, in the middle of the summer, and I was on my way to the office. Mondays are not bad days, but usually there is still a bit of weariness from a busy week and a challenging (but wonderful) Sunday. I had already engaged all of my morning routines of exercise, coffee, Bible reading, newspaper, kissing my wife good-bye for the day, and getting dressed for work. Except for the Bible reading, and maybe the exercise, it could have been just about anyone other person’s routine. I checked the radio programs, griped about the other drivers, and even considered how hot it was going to be that day. Arriving at the church building, I pulled into the parking lot to see a large “18 wheeler” finishing a circle of the building. It is not unusual for people to circle around our building, but I have not see a truck of that size in our parking lot except for those making a delivery. It crossed my mind that we might be receiving a delivery, but I was unaware of any that were to be arriving. As I made my way toward the parking area, the truck moved toward me. I assumed the driver would continue on his way to the street, but he didn’t. As we started to pass one another he stopped the truck, and with his window open began to wave and shout at me. I cautiously lowered my car window, and started to wave back at him. Then I realized what he was saying. He shouted, “I am in the church too. Ain’t it great!?” I shouted a “Yeah!”, and gave him a “thumbs-up sign. He went on his way, and I parked my car. As I walked in the building and to the office, I couldn’t help but think about how great it is to share that common ground and be able to express it to one another.
We have a language. There is no secret code about it. It even crosses traditional language barriers. When we hear it, we know it. It rings with familiarity. It tells us that we are like one another. It makes us comfortable. It tells us that we can speak freely. While it is not covert or hidden in some way, it is just seen as religious to much of the world. Even to those who have not seen beyond the common perception of religion, fail to see the unique nature of it. I am a bit reminded of the words of Peter when he wrote to those of “like precious faith” - 2 Peter 1:1. When you spend time in the church and with the people who are the church, we learn those words and phrases that have meaning. The man in the truck needed say no more. We shared common ground, and it is great.
May the words of your mouth convey your place in the church too.