by Joey Davis
I was visited recently by a ghost named "change." He drives us to be secure in God’s predictability. Without him, life is mindless and routine.
As he visited me, he broke the news to me that "my Mt. Juliet" no longer ‘exists. The streets and some of the buildings still remain, but the Mt. Juliet that I called home had been preserved only in my fondest memories.
You see, my Mt. Juliet was a place where farms and modest subdivisions provided the scenery from Mt. Juliet Road. My Mt. Juliet was a country town where everyone waved at one another when passing on the road. I remember when Mt. Juliet was a football powerhouse, the Junior High had no portables, and Staggs Pharmacy was the only drug store within fifteen miles of here. I even remember visiting this congregation as a boy and thinking how beautiful the green carpet, white brick and paneling in the auditorium were.
The ghost named Change reminded me that like the green carpet in our auditorium, eventually everything fades into shades of something else. Truth is, he also made me realize that although Mt. Juliet isn’t the Mt. Juliet I remembered as a boy, it’s still "my Mt. Juliet." You see, nobody ever stopped loving their sister because she grew up. They just find new reasons to love her. The same applies to my hometown… and this church.
I realize that this congregation isn’t the same congregation it was fifteen or twenty years ago. Faces have changed, saints have crossed the Jordan. walls have been torn down. buildings built, faith expanded, new families added, and spiritual boundaries challenged. What we sometimes forget is that God wouldn’t have it any other way. Although He is the same yesterday today and forever. He doesn’t expect the same from us. He sees growth and positive change as natural, normal and healthy. The one change He will not tolerate is a change in our love for His Son’s bride, and a failure to defend her honor.
Let us never forget that it’s still "our Mt. Juliet." We just share it with more folks than ever before. And don’t forget, whether we meet in our old auditorium, a new one or on a street corner: we are still the bride of Christ purchased by blood, bought with a price, and to be redeemed by a risen Savior. May we never be so proud, pious, or so petty that we forget that it’s only when we are united as brethren that we are truly at home. Our citizenship is in heaven. No matter how much our congregation changes, may we always look for new reasons to love her… as well as each other.