Points to Ponder: From Goofy to Greatness
Points to Ponder
From Goofy to Greatness
A recent news report told about a man who saw the Face of Jesus in a moth's wing span. His church, they said, wanted to sell the insect to raise money for their building fund. That item was followed by a report about a church receiving the lottery jackpot of an anonymous donor: $100,000 per year. The church plans on "giving it all away" the report said. Later in the broadcast, another church-related news item features a beauty contest for nuns. The purpose was to dispel the stereotypes about "dour, old women," wearing unattractive habits (their uniform, of sorts.)
I thought to myself: this is goofy. What do people think of the Church when they hear of these things? It seemed to me to be no coincidence that the Jesus moth story was followed by the story of the lottery money going to a church. The media is full of people who aren't believers, let alone church-goers. In a way, the second story served as a commentary on the first. Was this news station saying, "Instead of finding Jesus on the back of bugs, the world needs to see Him in the lives, choices, and priorities of His people"?
If these are the best stories the news media can find, then we who claim to have the Good News need to reflect on what we actually do reflect. Jesus said:
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden....Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14, 16).
When five Amish school girls were massacred by the local milkman (back in 2006) the whole nation was drawn to the light which shined through the Amish community's reaction: total forgiveness of the killer and loving concern for his family. The media did not want to come right out and say that God was in their response, that the teachings of Jesus Christ were being lived out. But then, no one had to say it. The light shined and everyone saw it.
What affects your conscience and permeates your heart more? Seeing the image of Jesus in the wing of a moth or experiencing the person of Jesus in people who were clearly compelled by a supernatural level of love.
Believers can get all gushy and send little e-mails to each other about such amazing things: Jesus' face appears in a mud puddle, or a clump of clouds. The things we get excited about sometimes are not worthy to be compared to the real stuff God can do in the life of someone who totally belongs to Him.
When I was a boy, we had a little dog (rat terrier and miniature collie mix as I recall). She was small and brown closer to the rat in rat terrier - whatever that is. But anyway, she had a brown short hair coat, and on her chest was a line of white fur in the shape of a "W." Amazing!
The Whitmore family was the only one in the block that had a monogrammed dog. Could it be that little Ginger was predestined by the God who made her to be ours? I know, it's silly; but if I told you we could see the face of Jesus in the fur between her ears, would that be cool or what??
I'm being extreme here to make the point that what often kept me away from considering whether Jesus is who the Bible says He is or that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, was the irrelevance of the church and the silliness of those who were leading it. And I would presume that a lot of folks today have no use for the church because it is rare that they exhibit any real life-changing power in their communities. You might find good stuff at their yard sales, have a great meal at their fund raisers, but will you find Christ there?
Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus told His disciples:
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
The word power has its root in the Greek word for "dynamite." Imagine that kind of power from heaven enabling you to do whatever God has in mind for you to do. In every church, He does have in mind what every member there can do for His glory. And yet, does such potential cross even some of our minds?
Here's what Jesus says of our potential as His followers:
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:12-13).
Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship of Clear Spring, MD. These articles are also found at www.HilltopChristianFellowship.com.