As many of you know, I have been out the last three Sundays. The first two were planned as part of vacation and the last due to illness upon returning from vacation. I want to thank Ken Davenport, Billie Dreher, and Logan Smith for filling the pulpit in my absence. As I took time to watch the past three worship services online, I noticed how the Lord spoke through each of them in different ways. They each brought a message that was Spirit-breathed and meaningful. Thank you for your willingness to serve. You were amazing!
Speaking of amazement, in addition to Mt. Rushmore, one of Gutzon Borglum’s greatest works as a sculptor is the head of Lincoln in the Capitol at Washington. He cut it from a large, square block of stone in his studio. One day, when the face of Lincoln was just becoming recognizable out of the stone, a young girl was visiting the studio with her parents. As she looked at the half-done face of Lincoln, her eyes registered wonder and astonishment. She stared at the piece for a moment then ran to the sculptor. “Is that Abraham Lincoln?” she asked. “Yes,” he replied. “Well,” said the little girl, “how in the world did you know he was inside there?”
What do you feel when you hear or read the stories of Jesus? Are they just second nature to you? Do you simply gloss over them? Or do they amaze you the way they did before they became so familiar to you? The Gospel of Mark is full of examples of how people were amazed by Jesus: “The people listened with amazement to His teaching – for there was authority about it; it was very different from that of the scribes” (1:22). “Then He went up to them onboard the boat, and the wind lulled; and they were beside themselves with silent amazement” (6:51). “The amazement was extreme. ‘He succeeds in everything He attempts,’ they exclaimed; ‘He even makes deaf men hear and dumb men speak’” (7:37).
One of my favorite Christian songs is “Amazed” by Phillips, Craig, and Dean. If you are ever complacent when you hear about Jesus, I challenge you to listen to this song. Some of the lyrics are:
You dance over me while I am unaware. You sing all around, but I never hear the sound. You paint the morning sky with miracles in mind. My hope will always stand for You hold me in Your hand. Lord, I’m amazed by You. How You love me.
God’s Best…Pastor Steven