August Newsletter & Message
A few years back, our family took a quick trip into Cincinnati. Since the kids liked model trains, Monica and I made plans to visit what was advertised as, “The world’s largest model train display!” Whether it really was the world’s largest, I don’t know. But it did not disappoint. At the beginning of the self guided tour, we saw models of some of the earliest locomotives moving through frontier settlements. As we continued, it became evident that we were progressing through the history of trains in that part of the world. As each new part of display came into view, the scenes became more impressive. In one place, the model rose high over both sides of the walkway with smoking locomotives clacking overhead. In another, there were steps to climb so that we could look down on the various areas as though we were on a mountaintop. I saw elaborate cities from different eras and rolling green mountains, an intricate switchyard and an amusement park complete with working roller coaster and carousel. The attention to detail was impressive.
Our tickets included a behind-the-scenes tour and it wasn’t long before we realized that our guide, Don, was the owner of the display. This was a Willy Wonka kind of moment for me. I have no way of knowing how many times Don has given this tour, but he was generous and enthusiastic as he guided my family through previously unnoticed service corridors and walkways. The 45-minute tour lasted for well over an hour. As we made our way under, over, and through his creation, we saw not just how everything linked together, but Don told us why these pieces were created. It became evident that every part of this sprawling work was connected to some part of his life and his love for trains. This place was a way of understanding who Don was, and as we got to know him a bit more, we gained a deeper understanding of how all of his work fit together.
I realize that I am likely the only one to ever say that the Bible is kind of like Enter-train-ment Junction. But yeah, it pretty much is (minus trains, of course). Like Don’s massive creation, the Bible is a sprawling, interconnected, diverse array of creative work that tells one story of God’s love for humanity. And when Jesus quotes Scripture (which happens a lot), it is like getting a behind-the-scenes tour of our Bible from its Creator. We get a look at not just how things link together, but why Jesus reveals his identity in such a way. When together we read, study, and meditate on God’s Word, we find more of these connections which help us to better know Jesus. And as we get to know him more, we gain a richer understanding of Scripture and how it all fits together. So, as fall approaches and you begin to determine new schedules for a new season, I welcome you to engage with our Church and thank you for spending your time with us. I pray that as the days pass, we will grow in our relationship to Jesus, Scripture, and one another.
Grace and peace,