I was sitting on a park bench a while ago and I noticed that I was the only person wearing a hat! There I was enjoying a little snack in this open pedestrian area watching people go by and it dawned on me that no one was wearing a baseball cap except me.
This pedestrian shopping area was in a Central European country. The spring weather was great. There were blue skies, a cool breeze and plenty of sunshine. It was pleasant, peaceful settings as I relaxed by myself and watched the world go by. But, the only one wearing a hat was me!
I started to watch more carefully. Was this really true? Was I really the only one among dozens of shoppers that was wearing a hat? Finally, I noticed a man and woman walking in my direction. The man was wearing a baseball cap. Finally, I thought to myself, people do wear hats in this country. But, as they got closer to me, I noticed the woman had something in her hand. She was carrying a map. Then I realized they were tourists just like me!
Slowly I began to realize that people who live in this European country don’t wear baseball type hats. No one! And because I had my baseball cap on, I stuck out like a sore thumb. I suspect people were looking at me thinking – this guy is a tourist. He is wearing a hat!
There is an interesting passage in the Bible in Mark chapter 14. Jesus instructs two of his disciples to go into the city of Jerusalem and make preparations to celebrate the annual Passover meal. When these two disciples ask him where they should go, he told them to look for a man who is carrying a pot of water on his head and follow him the to place Jesus had reserved.
This clandestine encounter always seemed to me like it was out of a Spy movie. “Look for your contact at the Train Station – they will be wearing a red carnation”. Jesus told his disciples to follow the man carrying water. Jesus had reserved an upper room so he and his followers could enjoy the Last Supper alone and undisturbed. He wanted to get away from the crowds and his critics. He knew the Cross was only hours away.
Why the man with the water pot? Because, in Bible times the women were usually who would go to the well to get water. In the culture in Israel, the men did not carry the water. When the two disciples went into the city, they would easily notice the man with the water pot on his head. He would stick out just like an American tourist wearing a baseball cap in a European city.
Our country and our community are a blend of many different cultures. This diversity of cultures and customs enriches our community and provides us with a remarkable opportunity to experience and appreciate cultures from around the world. The world has come to us!
I don’t know if you wear a baseball cap or if you transport water in a particular way. But, I hope you will take time to observe and enjoy the diversity of cultures in our community. You will be glad you did and they will, too.
Pastor Mark Hopper
Efree Church of Diamond Bar
3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd
Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM