Recently while driving to an appointment, I heard an interview on the Cincinnati NPR affiliate (WVXU) the Diane Rehm show (Monday 5/18/15, 11:00 am). The interview featured Jeffery Brown, Chief Correspondent for Arts, Culture, and Society. Brown is the anchor of NewsHour on PBS, and he recently released a poetry book. During the interview, Brown was asked a question regarding his new stories for NewsHour. The anchor stated that there is an old truth: “There is nothing under the sun. ” He continued by saying most of his stories are not new, rather they contain a new twist, or perspective on repeated themes. He stated that poets, authors, songwriters, and actors find new ways to say old things. (1) The interview filled the better part of a one hour segment, so there was more said; however, I was struck by the guest’s observation that there is nothing new under the sun.
One week prior, I stated the same truth in an interview with a local news outlet. I was questioned about the feasibility of a philanthropic effort in Greater Cincinnati called “Transform Cincinnati.” [Go to:http://www.wlwt.com/news/group-challenges-innovators-to-submit-ideas-to-improve-cincinnati/32847504] “Transform Cincinnati” will select “game changing and sustainable” ideas in varying amounts up to $10 million! These game-changers include those ideas that contribute to the arts, humanities, social service sectors. My immediate reaction was to quote Solomon in stating, “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) In our conversation, I did reaffirm that we are created in God’s image, and therefore, we all have the capacity for creativity. I continued to unpack the gospel in a relevant way, but only 30 seconds or so of the interview aired. It is uncanny that I followed up with a comment strikingly similar to the news anchor Jeffery Brown. I emphasized that a significant part of the mission of YBL is to tell that wonderful “old story” to as many new people as possible. The old story is the gospel, and it is packed with “game change and innovation!”
Author Arabella K Hankey wrote a poem in 1866 that was soon after made into a hymn. “I love to tell the story Of unseen things above,” is the hymn that has been passed down for generations. The final line of each stanza captures the message of the song: I love to tell the story,
‘Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
Of Jesus and His love.
The mission of YBL is to share the good news with men who have not heard it. Likewise, we help those who have heard this old story to grow in their faith. Have you heard this story? When is the last time you’ve shared this story? Solomon’s words ring true today; however, the “game change” in the old story is that “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”