I love super-heroes, science-fiction, artificial-intelligence, teleportation, faster than light transportation, magic, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and scientific theories of parallel dimensions, aliens, time-travel and future worlds. I think most people have imagined sometime in their life that they have been gifted with an incredible and exceptional special power or ability and what they could achieve with it. This desire seems to be ingrained in us at an early age where we promptly lose it and then “grow up”. I have never grown up. I love too the supernatural.
I think scientists have never really grown up and they are blessed with an above average level of desire for special capabilities and it really surprises me that they are so locked into such a materialistic mindset that they cannot accept the supernatural. They are the ultimate doubting Thomas (who must have been the atheist of the Disciples.)
Jesus is my superhero because I believe he really exists, and he is the fulfillment or embodiment of all the superhero abilities I listed above. He controls time, space and energy better than any Superman and he has a spiritual component that is lacking in all the DC Comics characters – love.
Scientists are searchers because they can’t stand to let a good mystery go unprobed. But because the atheistic ones cannot accept a supernatural explanation for unexplained phenomenon, they miss out on the truly supreme experience – the one that Jesus promised each person who believes in Him – that we will be just like Jesus at the Resurrection – superheros. (Philippians 3:21)
I read a blog about the stone sealing the tomb where Jesus had been laid and it got me to thinking: that stone seal is symbolic of how Jesus had opened the door for humankind to eternal life. Before Jesus had died, death was the inevitable conclusion to a mans life following the catastrophic behavior of Adam and Eve. Yes, some souls had been revived at the death of Jesus and there was Lazarus, only to have to die all over again. Where we would reside had Jesus not opened the way to eternal life, I don’t know.
Men had knowingly sealed the door to Jesus tomb in hopes that He would stay dead. Angels had opened the tomb through the power of Jesus taking life back again and dealing death a fateful blow. Jesus, walking out the door that men had sealed, opened the way to life.
Here is an interesting book excerpt: If you make a few assumptions about the mixing of gases and the lifetimes of molecules in the atmosphere, it turns out that, on average, one molecule of “Caesar air” — or any other historic liter of air, for that matter — appears in each breath you take. (Caesar’s Last Breath by Sam Kean)
So in every breath we take we may take in a molecule of air that Jesus breathed. It turns out that He is not only (though more importantly) with us in His Spirit – but physically he is still with us too. That makes me breathe more consciously and deeply and spiritually, knowing that he will be with me until my final breath.
Not sure who the original painting was by: attributed to El Greco and to Karl Bryullov (Russian artist of 1800s). Either way, I think it is an exceptionally emotionally powerful picture of Christ.
Painted mine with dime-store acrylics. Want to try oils someday.
I wonder when in Heaven if we will look around and say, Where is Jesus?- because our paintings of him were so off.
To me Heaven is a real place, one that I dearly wish to get to and one that I stake my soul on, and for which I make the only real vow of value – that I believe it exists and that Jesus is the Way there.
I can’t really visualize the location or appearance of Heaven but I can see this happening: I will be standing near another spiritual soul and we will be located on the new earth, staring into Heavens heaven and we will choose one of the beautiful stars there and low and behold a three or four or infinite dimension replay occurs of one of our simplest and least important moments of sacrifice or love or piety or obedience – in all its glory and glorification of God. In other words, every little deed we performed in the name of God is kept eternally present in Heaven and every failure and moment of weakness is eternally forgotten. In this life, we don’t need to accomplish great spiritual feats – we just need to drop little seeds every day and we can do that by just maintaining a constant attitude of love and service.
I often am “interrupted” in my daily routine by my students but I should never see it as an interruption, but rather as an opportunity to give them a little attention, a moment of notice and encouragement – it only takes a second and they remember it for a long time, if not forever, and the moment turns into an eternal moment, preserved in heavenly CGI and Dolby special effects. I must see my life as spreading little insignificant seeds – not in trying to turn the world upside down with grand plans. Do we want to be remembered for something that is everlasting – offer the cup of cool water to a thirsty soul – offer a word of kindness to a hurting stranger. I believe these are the deeds that power the stars of Heaven.
God speaks to me – sometimes He uses happenstance to do it.
I was riding my mountain-bike up and down my usual route outside the East University gate along a recently newly cemented road through the local farms. On a hill I saw a three legged dog hobbling towards me and I felt a moment of compassion and then I asked God to give me a message. I’m not sure if I asked for the message before I saw the dog or not. I wasn’t feeling particularly good this day because of something that had gone on the day before. Well nothing particularly useful occurred to my mind so I kept biking up to where I usually take a break – on a cut down tree laying on the side of the road.
Finally I was listening. A three legged dog is not designed that way – it just functions in spite of its disability and surprisingly it over functions because it is carrying a full sized dog on a poor geometry. I am a 100 percent efficient design that often functions at 75% or less because I am human – damaged goods. I often carry around a huge amount of unnecessary emotional baggage that impedes my ability to perform well. And when I say perform I mean in a spiritually beneficial way to myself and others. But in spite of my damage, I can still bless one soul by doing one good deed this day – which is eternal in nature. That is a Three Legged Dog Day.
We change from day to day in intensity and fervor. We change from month to month and year to year in understanding, comprehension and opinion. One day we are a brick in the outer wall of the church, high up in the steeple where no one sees us closely yet we are closer to God in spirit than those who lie directly on the foundation of the building. A month later we have migrated to the doorway where we greet newcomers with outstretched hands. Those bricks on the outside face the world daily and serve in capacities of service and volunteerism. Inside the building the walls are composed of great formal worshipers who communicate in the Spirit with fire and passion, having more in common with Mary than Martha.
To look at the building is to see something alive – the walls vibrant and undulating – growing larger in times of war, shrinking in eras of peace – built on the unmovable foundation of the the only man to walk on a sea. It lives and breathes and changes its face yet never sways or collapses like structures in the city it occupies.
I am a brick today in the outer most part of the wall – hidden from view, supported by a buttress and away from the fine choruses and ministerial podiums. Alone, yet unalone, I serve simply to stand as a moral example, or spread a trifle charity, or shoulder a crying student with words of a biblical nature. Perhaps to just say, “God please help this person – and me.” Once I served as part of the podium but with little effect. God moved my brick to where it suited Him. I have little honor or recognition yet I am content. My responsibilities are few and simple – to love in action and shine just a little more light in a dingy world. I bring news of a man who defies natural law and death and promises us that we too will do the same. Some have never heard this message and it is my elementary task. I am the brick of the peasant today – perhaps spreading a single seed. Thank you Father for laying this brick so well.