Forward Today: Familiar City, Familiar Faith

Today’s edition of our new weekly newsletter from Scott Gunn and the Forward Movement team finds our globetrotting correspondent in London. Here’s Scott’s reflection on when a city, or a faith, starts to feel familiar.

Dear friends in Christ,

Just yesterday I flew home after having been in London for a couple of days and Ghana before that. As I was walking around London Sunday afternoon, I realized that I was getting all the places I needed to be without checking maps. I didn’t have to wonder about where to eat, because in the areas I visited, I already had favorite restaurants. Even in the churches I visited, I had favorite seats!

When I first went to London and for several visits after that, I marveled. Am I really here? How novel to ride a double-decker bus! The sights, the smells, the sounds were all new. Over the last few years, I’ve had a number of occasions to visit. It’s not so new. This is both a blessing and a challenge.

As I was flying home yesterday, I was thinking about how similar this is to our faith. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who has just found their way into a church for the first time? They are wide-eyed with excitement about all that is offered. Delight is balanced out by the occasional moment of being lost in a new liturgy.

I wonder what things I missed as I was walking around London because my eyes were not filled with a feast of new place? Maybe it would be better if I pushed myself a bit and went to a few new places, places that will be delightful.

And so it is with our faith. Familiarity is not bad, in and of itself. But the danger is that we become complacent. We forget to notice the wonders all around us.

Spend time with someone who is wide-eyed about their faith. Or seize an opportunity to take on a new practice or try a new liturgy or study something unfamiliar. Remember what it is like to see our faith as new, just as Christ makes all things new.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

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