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City life vs country slow living

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By PASTOR JAY SCOTT

Emanuel United Church of Christ

I used to enjoy driving to Columbus when I needed to go there for meetings. Now, when my wife and I go to visit our daughter there, I get there as fast as I can and then let her do the driving.

“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.” Deuteronomy 28:3

Through my previous off-farm career I had occasion to travel the country and visit a lot of large cities over the years, and a lot of rural areas. For the record, some of the nicest people I ever met outside of Ohio were in Alabama. When I was in New York City, I remember feeling depressed because I couldn’t see the sunrise or sunset, and it was basically night time by 4pm amid the skyscrapers because of the shadows. Years ago I was in Washington, D.C., and driving past the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It was around 5 p.m. and it must have been quitting time because people were pouring out of the building. I remember thinking at the time, “I’ll bet none of them have ever set foot in a corn field.

Then there’s the time my oldest daughter, Liz, brought home a few friends from college.

None of them had ever been on a farm. They sure took a lot of pictures! In fact, before they left, they went out on the road and took a picture of it because there was no traffic.

Those of us who have always lived in the country would have difficulty comprehending what things city dwellers do not know about rural life.

The same goes for those who have spent a lifetime attending a church. So many things we take for granted about how a worship service works would be all new to someone who was

worshiping with us for the first time. Some of the things we do could seem very strange to someone who is in church for the first time. It is important for all of us to be able to explain a worship service, and to be able to discuss our faith.

I think the whole notion of explaining Christianity to someone — anyone — has to start with a conversation about belief in God. If we can start there, the rest will come along.

In the 11th chapter of John, verse 40, Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

Being prepared to discuss faith with someone means we need to be able to discuss our own

belief. Here’s a homework assignment: Make a list of reasons why you believe in God. Then pick out a few you would want to share with someone if asked.

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15

 

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