Reverend Chris Baker,First Baptist Church of Centralia
Close your eyes with me and picture small-town America.
There’s the little post office, the general store, and we have to have a fishing hole. There’s a barber who knows everyone—and knows about everyone and he’ll probably tell you whether you want to know or not.
Our quintessential small town has a friendly auto mechanic, wise pharmacist, and kids scurrying around to toss a baseball or engage in mostly harmless mischief.
Maybe the small town you’re picturing is held together by the kind-hearted banker like George Bailey of Bedford Falls, NY in It’s a Wonderful Life or is it the friendly but fair sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry?
When a lot of us think about how things are supposed to be, we picture something akin to Mayberry, don’t we?
That’s how things are supposed to be. That’s the ideal. That might be why you have decided to raise your family in a small town like Centralia. Sure, we aren’t perfect—but we like to picture ourselves as closer to 1950’s Mayberry than 2020’s Chicago.
Then again, maybe the bright lights have always called out to you. You can’t wait to get out of this one horse town live the hustle and bustle of the big city. There’s not really a right or wrong answer. We can all have a different idea of how things are supposed to be, of the type of setting we want to live out our lives in. It can be Centralia, it can be New York City, it can be a van down by the river. The geography doesn’t matter. But the theology does.
The Bible describes for us often how things are supposed to be. The true ideal is this: God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard