We’re headed to the oldest fair in the country today in Topsfield, MA! It’s going to be a great day with lots of good food, sights and smells…gotta love those cows! I’m always amazed at how a thing like the Topsfield Fair can continue to be an exciting experience for people who have gone to it for decades. I think it has to do with their ability to balance the old and the new in one place. Think, for a moment, about fried foods. Just when you think you’ve tasted every fried food imaginable (and loved it) you walk past a stand that is selling deep fried Peanut butter and Fluff sandwiches and you say, “I’ve never had THAT before…better try it!” Same old fried food…new experience. Or, look at the giant pumpkin contest. The fair wouldn’t be the same without a trip into the vegetable barn to see how you measure up to these enormous gourds. It’s exactly the same year after year, and it carries the same excitement too.
Fair organizers must do a lot of thinking about the balance between old and new. Which experiences need a fresh perspective and which need to stay exactly the same?
Much more important than a county fair is what goes on in the Christian Church today. And, it goes much deeper than mere entertainment. The Church needs to have those same discussions today. How do we balance the old and the new in our congregation?