We were in Nashville last week for our homeschool conference. Every year the conference is like a family revival for us. It is a holy time. Families converge from all around the country for a week of inspiration and encouragement. The week is filled with anointed preaching, rich fellowship, spirited singing, genuine testimonies, and prayer. When the conference is over we are deeply stirred to live for God as a family and to resist the downward pull of the world around us. Jesus is all the focus of every message, every song and every conversation.
On Friday night the conference ends with all the young people singing in a huge choir. After the conference we drove to downtown Nashville to see the sights and get something to eat. That was a mistake. In one short loop of the downtown area we were shocked with the brazen display of immorality, perversions, lewd dress, and drunkenness. Nashville is famous for its music and there was a lot of music but it was not wholesome music about God, family and love of country. It was loud, pounding, blaring, godless, music. The contrast was shocking and sad.
The difference was especially obvious in the faces of the people. Friday night in downtown Nashville the streets were crowded with pleasure seekers at leisure. You would think some of them would look happy, but I don’t remember seeing a single joyful face. There was revelry and foolishness, but not the kind of radiant joy we had experienced all week. Through the week we had gotten used to bright eyes and joyful smiles. All week long we had been spending our time with joyful, purposeful people talking and singing about things that matter. They were praying with each other, sharing with each other, and exhorting one another to live for God, to love God and to build strong families.
This passage from 2 Peter came to my mind: ” – His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4 NKJV)
On the way home one of my daughters pointed out the contrast to us. Two strong impressions remain in my heart this morning as I reflect on the contrast. One is thanksgiving for the grace of God which enlightened us to our need of Jesus and tugged our hearts to salvation. The other is a desire to see other people with the light of God on their eyes and a smile on their face. That kind of joy can spring from the life of God within them. By the grace of God we share in the Divine nature and we have escaped the corruptions of the world. Beginning with our own family we are determined to help other do the same. That is why we sing and preach and tell stories and send these little essays every week.
June 7, 2007