Sunday, August 07, 2005

Familiar voice of hope

Worship at newhope Posted by Picasa

For my comfort level when I roll into a new town, I always look for something familiar - there's a bit of comfort with the familiar. At the same time, I like setting out and exploring a new city as well - when I lived in Durham, NC for a while, I enjoy just driving without a map and seeing where certain roads take me. However, being out in the back country roads are outside of my comfort level - I definitely check the gas level and make sure that there is some sense of civilization around and cell phone service.

About twenty five years ago, my wife and I were traveling back on a rural highway as it appear to be a straight line on the map toward Interstate 65. Traveling through Lawrence County, we rounded a bend and surprise!, surprise! there was this very tall cross burning. We just happened to stumbled upon a Ku Klux Klan gathering - white robes and all. We pulled over to the side of the road to watch, totally mezmerized. A man toting a shotgun tapped on my van window, and said that I was welcome to stay and watch, but I needed to pull over further off the road. Spooky. Mixed marriage. Out in the boonies. Before cell phones.

Anyway, now that I am back in Nashville, I miss the familiar of what I come to love - finding a new church home in a strange city where sermons are relevant, people are relational and oppurtunities are available to plug into. newhope church was a great fit for me, as I jumped into the MC2 men's group (Men Challenged in Christ), enjoyed the hymns that were sung and communion served, along with the setting of a old church with stained glass windows and vibrancy of a three year old church. Somehow I connected with college students as well, with being away from home and what-not that comes with all of the separation anxiety from being away from "home".

All of this to say, familiarity is very comforting. Thanks newhope Church and Pastor Benji Kelley for the authenticity, times of refreshing prayer and comfort while I was in North Carolina. See you soon -

All love is sweet,
Given or returned.
Common as light is love,
And its familiar voice wearies not ever...
They who inspire it most are fortunate,
As I am now; but those who feel it most
Are happier still.

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Prometheus Unbound. Act ii. Sc. 5.

newhope Church link
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