Monday, June 4, 2007

Going Into Philly

So my friend Jamison is coming out with his family this weekend for a visit. I'm looking forward to this for several reasons:
  1. Jamison's a cool guy and I really enjoyed having him out a couple of years ago when he finished up a preaching internship we did together.
  2. He's preaching again.
  3. It gives me a chance to help him "forget" his new MacBook Pro here at my place (I may never have a better chance of getting a Mac).
I'm also looking forward to heading down into Center City (for non-Philly-types that's what we call "down town") and take in some of the attractions. Growing up my extended family would do Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House, Penn's Landing, the Franklin Institute, and the Philadelphia Zoo once a year (one different days). I remember heading down in a group of my 10+ cousins (depending on who showed up), their parents, my grandparents, and my siblings and parents to these awesome attractions and thinking, "Wow, we live in an important place."

When I got older I started heading into Philly myself, often to South Street to browse the shops and find some decent music at Tower Records (now defunct). One summer I took voice lessons at Walnut Street Theatre - that was very cool. Since I moved out, and then back in, to the area though I haven't gotten back to all the cool places I went as a kid. I don't tend to wander in Philly (after wandering in Boston it get's kinda depressing), but even so there's so much to do down there that I can't believe I haven't been back yet.

Now, I'll get my chance. Jamison and family are tourists. As a host, I have no excuses, I need to make sure they see what they want to see (and maybe a couple of things in addition to that - like the Art Museum [or, at least, "the steps"]). It'll be interesting to see how much has changed down there in the past 20 years since I was last in Independence Hall. The Liberty Bell has finally been moved to a decent display (the old one was just a pavilion with the bell and a huge line. Actually, as a matter of confession - we never went to the Bell, I think my family had something against standing in line for 45 minutes to see it so we never did - I grew up in Philly, and have not seen the Liberty Bell. There, I said it). I've also been looking forward to seeing the National Constitution Center (minus Constitution.....) - it's supposed to be cool.

That's what I'll be doing this weekend. Spending my time exploring things that were formerly familiar with some friends so we can share the joy of experience and discovery together.

Come to think of it, isn't that what a Church is supposed to be doing? Sharing the joy of discovering the present reality of Jesus and his Kingdom and experiencing the wonder of what is is being made manifest in us?

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