Thursday, October 20, 2011

Touching History

In July 2012 Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth will host an exhibit that will include, among other things, the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

Now I don't know about you, but that's exciting to me. I have no real skill or knowledge base in the field, but archaeology has always fascinated me. There is something very compelling about finding something that no other human has seen or touched for hundreds of years. 

I'm also a huge fan of the sci-fi concept of time travel. What would it be like to step back into history at a time of your own choosing to see what life was really like, or to meet a significant historical figure? It's the stuff of great fantasies for me!

Several years ago my husband and I took a trip to England and Scotland. At our stop in York, England we came across a little stone church that was one thousand years old. They still have two services a year there. We walked around the little church listening to the guide as we sat in the family boxes that still carried the name plates of the wealthy families who paid for them. We saw the carved tiles in the floor - memorial stones of prominent members buried there. It was a beautiful little church with stained glass windows and gorgeous wood and stone work. 

I sat in one of the little pews while Jeff continued to talk to the guide, and I just tried to listen; to the voices and hearts of those who had prayed in these very pews for a thousand years, to my own heart trying to connect with God there, and to the voice of God speaking to my heart. I felt very small, a tiny part of the great story of all history. I also felt so connected, as though I could  ask God what they were like and he could tell me - because he was there. 

The same God who hears the prayers of my heart today is the same one who heard the prayers of the congregants of that little church a thousand years ago, and the same one who, a thousand years before that, divinely inspired the writing of what we now call the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is also the same one that preserved those scrolls for two thousand years. 

Seeing those scrolls would be like seeing a picture of who God was two thousand years ago. But then we already know what he was like then, because we know what he is like now, still the same...yesterday, today and forever. If he chooses to allow the world to continue another two thousand years he will be exactly the same on that day, two thousand years from now, as he is now. 

The words are easy to understand but the concept is one that is harder to wrap our finite minds around. The same God that walked with Adam in the garden walks with us each day. The same God that called Noah to build an ark on dry land, sometimes calls us to blind obedience and trust. The same God that saved Daniel from the lions and his friends from the fiery furnace saves our lives every day in ways we will never know about. The same God who promised to go ahead of Joshua in battle goes out before us into the day, every day and through him we have victory. 

The same God who saw and forgave a common criminal while suffering and dying on the cross, sees us and saves us when we ask him. 

A piece of's an amazing thing. One day our lives will be history. What legacy will we leave behind? Will it inspire others? Will they be drawn to our stories because of the richness of our testimonies? I hope so. I hope they will be drawn to my story because it points to the story of Christ, and I pray that there is excitement there like I feel about seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Too much to hope for about my own life probably, and that's fine. It's not my story that matters; it's the story of Christ and what he has been doing since the beginning of the story. 

What story does your life tell? What will people learn about God as they watch you today? 


If you are interested in learning more about the exhibit featuring the Dead Sea Scrolls click on this site for more details:

Maybe I'll see you there! 

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