The story is told of a woman out shopping on a hot summer’s day. When she passed an ice cream shoppe she decided to treat herself to an ice cream cone in an effort to cool off. She went into the store and ordered her cone. As the clerk was preparing it she became aware of someone standing beside her. She turned and found herself looking into the big blue eyes of Paul Newman. Immediately her neck felt hot and her knees felt weak. About that time, the clerk returned with her cone, set it in the holder on the counter and asked for $1.75. In her befuddled state, trying to pay for her cone, she spilled things from her purse, had trouble finding the right change and became ever more flustered. Finally, she got it all together and left the store. She was only a short way down the street when she realized she had forgotten her cone. She returned to the store only to find Paul Newman standing in the doorway. He said, “Did you forget your cone?” to which she replied, “Yes, I did.” Paul Newman then said, “Well, lady, it is in you purse.”
Recently, I heard a minister begin his sermon with this story. He wasn’t using up his time just to tell a funny story but to try and compare the awe that we sometimes feel for our heroes of any stripe - acting stars, musical stars, sports stars etc. - in comparison to the awe we feel for God. He went so far as to ask, “Whan was the last time an encounter that you had with God cause your knees to feel week?” Thought provoking!
Robert Capon has said the church “is a community of astonished hearts that God has saved them.” One dictionary meaning of astonished is ‘struck dumb with wonder’
Marvin P. Dalton said, “ Oh, what a Savior! Oh, hallelujah! His heart was broken on Calvary; His hands were nail-scarred, His side was riven, He gave His lifeblood for even me.”
Jack Hayford said, “ Majesty, worship His majesty. Unto Jesus be all glory power and praise.”
The writer of Hebrews said, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.”
May we all, as we enter this new year, exalt the God of the universe in our lives and see the icons of this world for what they are - people with a talent different than ours but with no power to bring us lasting joy or peace. We will have a far better 2010 if we do!