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Do We Lose Our Sense of Awe?

The first church to ever hire me as their youth pastor was in a little tiny town called Grande Cache up in the Canadian Rockies. It was beautiful.  There were 23 mountains visible from town alone (and many more if you took the time to climb one). So, of course, when I moved there I started climbing mountains. All the time. I even helped with a program called "Passport to the Peaks" where you could get a stamp at the top of the mountains visible from town and try to scale every one. No, I didn't get them all, but I did help place some of the stamps up there.

When I moved to town I only knew one person. His name was Chad. He came into the music store I worked at in college quite often to buy new gear. And as God usually works things out, Chad and his family attended the church that hired me (he was kind of excited when I moved to town, I could show him how to set it all up). Chad and his family worked as loggers in the forests at the base of the mountains and when I found that out I asked him what he thought of working in the mountains. "Meh". Wait, what? So I asked what he thought of the mountains and the scenery. And you know what he told me? He'd never climbed one. He'd never seen the top of a mountain. He had lived there his whole life and never taken the time to actually go up above where the trees grew where you could see for a hundred miles.

I was reminded of this while reading the story of Jesus going to Simon of Bethany's house for dinner (you can read it in Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9). Simon was a man Jesus had healed from leprosy, a disease that had no cure and ostracized a person from their loved ones. And the disciples were there eating too, people who knew Jesus deeply. And another person was there, a woman who came in and washed Jesus with expensive perfume. When she did it the disciples were furious, they called it a waste. Simon contributes nothing to the story, he didn't say anything either way (or it wasn't important enough for us to know). When this woman chose to worship Jesus and honor Him in a way that was expensive those closest were upset and the one who had been given back his life and everything with it was silent.

I wonder if they had been with Jesus so long they lost a sense of who He was. The Person some saw as the Son of God they saw as the Person we eat dinner with, kind of like how I saw incredible mountains but Chad saw the things in his backyard. As we pass celebrating Christ's resurrection and put away our nice Easter clothes and finish up the leftover ham do we still hold that entire event in awe? Do we fully grasp all that moment entails and how eternity will be forever different because of that one sacrifice and how thanks to Christ's triumph over death things will never be the same again? Or do we hear it so often and do the dance every year that it just becomes that nice day we dress up and have dinner with our extended family after?

Please don't lose your sense of awe with what last Sunday meant. The Living God came to earth and took our sins upon Himself, dying on a cross all so we could be forgiven and have a relationship with Him because He is still the Living God who rose again and lives today. And He did it all for you. So you could be restored to that holy image of God He created in the Garden of Eden so long ago.

A week later are we still living like Easter really happened, like it made a difference?

Troy Richards
Director of Sr. High Student Ministries and Modern Worship
Posted by Troy Richards with


How do you wait?

That seems like such a stupid question, but I want you to think about it for a moment. When you're asked to wait for something or someone, what do you do?

If I'm waiting for someone to give me a ride, am I watching TV or have I gotten my shoes on, all my things gathered, and sitting at the front door?

When I'm waiting for a meeting to start, am I checking Facebook or am I reading my notes of what we talked about last meeting and finalizing all the points I wanted to bring up today?

When I'm waiting to play football with students, am I standing in the center of the field wondering where everyone is or have I gathered the football and pinnies, marked out the end zones and made sure I know when we need to be done?

It took me a long time to practice "active waiting". The art of waiting with a purpose. Waiting while doing something and not just sitting there mentally complaining about having to wait.

In this season of Advent we are encouraged to wait on God. And too often that is translated as "sit". Instead, why don't we try actively waiting on God? What would that look like for you? What would you look like if you practiced actively waiting for God to move in your life? Jude gives us an idea:

Dear friends, keep building on the foundation of your most holy faith, as the Holy Spirit helps you to pray. And keep in step with God’s love, as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to show how kind he is by giving you eternal life. Be helpful to all who may have doubts. Rescue any who need to be saved, as you would rescue someone from a fire. Then with fear in your own hearts, have mercy on everyone who needs it. (Jude 1:20-23a, CEV)

My challenge for you this Christmas: try waiting on God. You may be surprised all you can learn and do while waiting.

Troy Richards
Director of Sr. High Student Ministries and Modern Worship
Posted by Troy Richards with