This last month has been one of the busiest but also rewarding months that I have had in a long time. Two days after my last final, I went with a friend of mine to a road trip to Missouri for his father's birthday celebration and to St. Louis for a visit with some friends of ours. Upon returning to Phoenix, I got on an airplane and flew out to Louisville for the New Attitude Conference and then once I got back I started summer school at ASU. While I was in St. Louis, my friend and I visited the famous St. Louis Arch that is a landmark not only in Missouri but across America. I had previously seen pictures of the arch but seeing pictures do not to it justice. Since we had the time to kill, we decided to do the arch tour where the conclusion of the tour is being inside the top of the arch. Our tour guide mentioned that the arch was suppose to be a landmark for generations upon generations to see this as the "Gateway to The West."
I think it is safe to say that as human beings we are proud of our history and our memorials. People flock to landmarks and monuments to see a part of history that we have only heard about in school or heard from previous generations. However, as Christians, we are part of something that is much more remarkable and amazing than any national monument or historical landmark built by human hands. The fact that over the last two thousand years, the story of Jesus Christ, dying and crushing the grave is told through out all history. This story was spoken in times of peace, times of war. It was told to kings and beggars, people in America and spread across the world. There might be beautiful landmarks that are breath taking but they will pass away. We have the truth of the gospel written on our hearts and minds and it will never pass away.
I think it is difficult to see the effect of this work of the Lord because we have a limited view on everything goes on. We cannot be at many places at once and see sinners being saved by the power of the Gospel, but when there are opportunities for Christians to gather together and rejoice in the fact that their sin is paid for, we have a glimpse of what we will be doing for all of eternity. When I was at the conference in Kentucky there were over three thousand young people from across america and the world, singing praises to our Lord and growing in a love for scripture. There were several times during the singing times, I stopped to hear the chorus of voices that were around me. Mostly because I am not gifted in the singing department but also to hear the unity that was expressed through the songs that were being sung.
I made it my personal goal to try and meet at least one hundred people, so I could see how the conference was effecting them but also so I could get out of my comfort zone and meet new people. I decided that one way that I could keep track of these people was asking them how I could pray for them but also take my picture with them. Since I recently purchased a Polaroid camera, I took my picture with roughly around one hundred and ten people who I had not met before the conference. Hearing what the Lord was doing in the lives of these people but also hearing how they would want to be interceeded before the throne room of God was very encouraging. The picture I included in this entry is all the photographs in my room, which I carry around with me to remind me to pray for these brothers and sisters.
God is at work, not only in the lives of people in Arizona but all around the world. We might have grand monuments that cause us to stop and be captivated in awe and wonder. However, the things of man will one day pass away but the God is still on the move, opening the eyes of people to see the glorious work of the cross. I think that the following Psalm captures the emotion and truth that the Lord has taught me over the these last couple of weeks. I later found out through Mr. Spurgeon's commentary on it, it is the only Psalm,
".. bearing this precise inscription. It is all ablaze with grateful adoration, and has for this reason been a great favourite with the people of God ever since it was written. "Let us sing the Old Hundredth" is one of the every-day expressions of the Christian church, and will be so while men, exist whose hearts are loyal to the Great King. Nothing can be more sublime this side heaven than the singing of this noble psalm by a vast congregation."
A Psalm for Giving Thanks
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.