ON WORSHIP: a summary

I love to watch the sunset from atop Blevins Gap in South Huntsville, & I know that others here hike those trails because I’ve seen the Instagram stories! But, have you ever wondered why are we so moved by a beautiful sunset? Or how many of you have ever stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon and actually felt significant in comparison? 

If you’re like me, you arrogantly marched to the canyon’s edge, then dropped to your knees to cling to the earth. It is beauty of that magnitude that just inspires awe. Yet even beauty like this doesn’t fulfill. First, we are awestruck, but eventually we find ourselves looking for the next hit of adrenaline. We book a trip to another natural wonder we’ve not experienced yet..& we will be awed, then again we will forget.

The excitement of seeing the Grand Canyon wears off – I look back at old pictures & I’m unable to connect with more than just a fraction of that initial impact. I don’t feel that same fear… it’s just a vague memory of a feeling I had. 

It’s like when your favorite new record releases – the one we’ve waited on for weeks – eventually it loses its edge, and we are waiting on another that we’ve heard is coming out next month. How fickle! If I seek fulfillment and joy in music, I will always be disappointed.

You will never be fully satisfied with your friendships. That fishing or hunting trip, or your gaming platform, or even that new sports car cannot give you ongoing happiness. 

Here’s a bomb for Christians, since we tend to make a big deal about marriage; you will never be wholly fulfilled in your marriage – & if you TRY to find ultimate fullfillment there, you will likely find yourself profoundly disappointed.

Your soulmate was never meant to fulfill you. But someone is.

And when I was feeling pretty insignificant and small when looking over this ‘grand canyon’, there’s more: if you went to your nearest beach and began to count individual grains of sand, and continued until you had counted every single grain of sand on every beach on Earth, it wouldn’t even come close to equaling the number of stars in the universe. Yet God made, named, and sustains each and every one of them.

I was listening to a podcasted lecture not long ago about quantum physics… did you know that if you truly quantify all that makes up an atom – you know, atoms, the things we’re made of – it’s almost entirely empty space. Man, that’ll make you believe in a God – I’m almost entirely nothing, BUT YET I’M HERE…standing before you! It makes one feel incredibly small, & like a walking miracle, all at the same time.

You are one single person, living in an average city, in an average-sized state, located in a relatively larger country, on an average sized planet, circling a fairly insignificant star, floating in space with 150+ billion other stars in a small corner of our average little galaxy, which is only one of among 150+ billion others. Even still, the God – who created, named, and sustained every star – strangely enough, cares about you. That is your Heavenly Father! Can a God so powerful, who is yet concerned with even the death of a sparrow, not take care of you?

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Ruth 1:6-21; Eyes wide Open

Ruth 1:6-21…just a little back-story; Ruth tells a story based in one of the darker period’s in the history of God’s people, running parallel with the book of Judges; so a reminder of what this era looks like, Judges 21:25 reflects on it: “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.

Yet, in spite of this, one of my favorite Bible commenters, Tim Mackie, a professor at Western Seminary & co-founder of the Bible Project, states that “Ruth calls us to reflect upon how God is involved in the day-to-day joys & hardships of our lives.” And I think that’s a solid take…let’s jump in.

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Love is the Evidence

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Confession – this is going to be ground zero for us today, because the rest of this passage unpacks those two lines.

Dear friends, let us love one another…

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Love lights the Path

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.

That’s a peculiar place to start, don’t you think? 

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I believe in the Resurrection

As a former Atheist, I did quite a lot of study before I was convinced that Jesus had not only existed, but that the resurrection was the most logical explanation of what could be historically known about Jesus’ death and the origins of the early church. From this research I compiled what I – at one time – thought of expanding into a book: an account of what I know about Jesus and why it points to Jesus being raised from the dead. Since writing this over 20 years ago, I repost it annually in my blog. I hope this challenges or strengthens your faith… Happy Easter/Resurrection day!
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