Last spring, Shainu and I discovered the Piazza. It’s an 80,000 square foot open-air plaza right in the middle of an otherwise run-down neighborhood in Northern Liberties. We had heard so much about it, and in particular, one restaurant called PYT known as Home of America’s Craaaziest Burgers. We were told we had to try the Krispy Kreme slider.
What is a Krispy Kreme slider you ask? PYT describes it as “Three of our famous mini-beef burgers topped with chocolate-covered bacon and served on tiny Krispy Kreme donuts with fries and a spicy pickle spear.”
Needless to say, that’s an unlikely combination of ingredients. Bacon covered with chocolate? Beef burgers with Krispy Kreme donuts? Yet it works. And whoever thought of putting it together is a genius.
That’s what I think of when I think of the people at Seven Mile Road. An unlikely combination that works. Beautifully. And the God who put it together is a genius.
Granted, on the surface, we don’t seem to have many differences. We’ve got some “multi-ness” (various generations, ethnicities, socio-economic classes, etc) to us but we’re a long way from looking like the UN. But beyond the surface, there’s so much there that I’m always amazed by the unity that we enjoy.
Take our worship service for example. I’ve often joked about our ex-Pentecostals and our ex-Orthodox/Catholics coming together. We have people who grew up in church without necessarily knowing or believing the gospel. That means religious people who may not know Jesus but know exactly what church is supposed to be like. So in the same room, you have people who got sprinkled in a basin as babies and people who got dunked in a tub as adults. People who spoke in tongues spontaneously and people who read liturgy out of a book systematically. Both sides grew up pretty sure they were the true Church and the others were severely mistaken. Lots of preferences. Strong opinions about what is right. Tons of baggage. The two sides being in the same room is an unlikely combination.
So ex-Pentecostals show up and see that we recite the Apostles Creed and have responsive reading in the service. They conclude that this is most conservative, liturgical church in the world. On the other hand, the ex-Orthodox/Catholics show up and see people with their hands raised, shouting hallelujah and conclude that this is the most bizarre, charismatic church in the world. It’s this beautiful blend where everyone is stretched and no one is entirely comfortable.
And yet we come together. Beautifully. We do more than co-exist. We live as one. In humility, we’re learning to keep the main thing the main thing. Christ and Him crucified. That’s what we’re about. That’s what we’re united by and around. We’re learning to die to our preferences, overcome our differences, and become an unlikely combination that works. Like a Krispy Kreme slider. To God be glory.
walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all,who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)