Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The body. The braid.

During a Sunday morning service last May, I found myself thinking about that girlhood rite of passage: the sleepover. Forgive me, Pastor Josh, if you are reading this.

Our pastor had just explained that the proper translation of Philippians 1:6 is a plural you. Where we read "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in YOU will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (NASB), it would more properly be translated “He who began a good work in Y’ALL...” (as they might say in the south).

He had just made this statement when I noticed two girls in front of me sharing a moment of spiritual sisterhood. They were tenderly, messily braiding each other's hair. The jokes about girls getting together to braid each other’s hair are almost cliche. Nobody I know gets excited about braiding their own hair. Some even consider it a chore. Yet many times I've seen one woman start braiding another woman's hair, almost instinctively. Why is that?  Why is there something special about braiding each other’s hair?

I suspect it’s not too different from what my pastor was saying that day. We are made to be a people. God promised Abraham a son, but also a people. It was God’s people, as a collective, who were punished with 40 years in the desert, not just the ten spies who doubted their ability to conquer the promised land. It is why Paul missed his fellow believers when he was away from them, which I wrote about yesterday, and you can read HERE. Like three portions of hair come together to make a braid, we make up a body of believers. Don't forget, the braid is a Biblical concept.
"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?  And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NASB).

Be the body.  Be the braid.

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