The Seven Wonders
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea (Revelation 21:1)
When we were at the convalescent home on Thursday, Grace, a lovely 92-year old Christian lady who is our dear friend, loaned us a book by George Boose, entitled, âœSermons for Seniors,â which turned out to be a well-written, interesting book. Chapter Two is called, âœTo Touch and to Taste, The Wondrous Gifts of God,about a 6th grade class that was given an assignment called, âœthe Seven Wonders of the World.
The children were told by the teacher to write down what each of them thought were the Seven Wonders,and the teacher would add them upas votes to see which ones would be included. The top seven vote getters in the poll were: The Great Pyramids of Egypt the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, the Panama Canal, the Empire State Building, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Great Wall of China all places that had been previously studied in the class.
The teacher was pleased because she thought the list reflected âœgood thought and a sound knowledge of the physical world. She noticed that one little girl, sitting on the back row, hadn't turned in a ballot,and asked, Mary, are you having trouble with your list? Mary replied, Yes, I can't decide; there are so many. The teacher saw that the girl had written something on the paper, and said, Just tell me what you have so far. The girl hesitated, but then said, I think the Seven Wonders of the World, are to Touch and to Taste, to See and to Hear, and to Run, to Laugh, and to love. And as Mr. Boose reported, the teacher was nearly speechless.
In our Scripture for today, we catch a glimpse of the future, the true future, and it is quite unlike anything that most scientists or science fiction writers are able to imagine. Places that many of us have visited or would like to visit, like the Great Pyramids of Egypt the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, the Panama Canal, the Empire State Building, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Great Wall of China will be gone. No one will be concerned about them. The atmosphere we breathe will no longer be with us in its present form, and neither will the sun, the moon and the unimaginable vastness of innumerable galaxies of stars all the present creations of God and man will be things of the past. As it says in our Scripture for today, everything will be made new.
The vast oceans humanity has sailed upon for centuries and many have looked upon and listened to with sighs, will be just a forgotten memory of a time that is no more. And sadness will be gone as well, for what we value now will be replaced by the Presence of the Lord, who indeed is wonderful and will fill us with JOY. Those who want Him will be WITH Him, and He shall wipe away every tear from (our) eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;for the first things (will pass) away (Revelation 21:4).
In our world of today, we look for our security to armies, police departments, social workers, governments, money, burglar alarms and yes religious ideas. When we admire something or someone, it's often a building, a mountain, a canyon, a book, someone who has riches, an athlete, a clever saying or a movie star. In other words, our values are misdirected, for we look to people, ideas and things, when we should be looking to God.
The little girl was right in her choices about the âœSeven Wonders of the World. There are many who have no money, and yet they can see. Others don't have a career that is pleasing to them, but they can hear. Not all can touch or taste or run, but it's time to look up from what we do not have, and look to the Lord, who gives us the wonder of Himself. As little Mary indicated in her ballot, we have been given the God-given capabilities to laugh and to love.
I think that many among us, if we were God and were able to create a world containing a race of beings to inhabit it, would not do it as God did. The tendency would be to build a race of robots that would do our bidding they would do what we wanted when we wanted it and not complain about having to do it. If you think about it, that's exactly the way humanity makes our sewing machines, computers, vacuum cleaners, washers, dryers, televisions and so on "robots" that do what we want when we want it. The Lord has a better idea.
Unlike the robots we would create, God has given us freedom to choose, and there are really only two choices in this world that will last. We can choose to love and honor the God who created us, or we can reject Him forever. When the pyramids were built in Egypt, it became an opportunity for the builders to enslave others. It was the same when America was settled from Europe, and it has been like that since the beginning of time. People want OTHERS to do their bidding. But God has set us free, which is one of the wonders of this world.
You are free to love the Lord. When He physically came to this earth, some chose to love Him, even on the terrible night of His death, but others, many others have said "no" to the Lord through the centuries that have passed since God our Creator invented humanity.
In giving us freedom, God has taken an immense risk, for many in humanity have used that "freedom" as license; harming others for personal gain. He has given wives to husbands who, all too often, have abused the very gift that has been given to them. Children are an enormous gift to those who are privileged to have them, and children are privileged to have adults that love and protect them. But many have not fulfilled such roles with love.
The "freedom" we have extends outside of our own lives and into the lives of those around us, and often the answer to the question, How could God do this to me? is: He didn't do it. We did, because we or someone else chose personal freedom over love for others.
Jesus was very clear when He said, Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19). The Great Pyramids of Egypt the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, the Panama Canal, the Empire State Building, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Great Wall of China, are Wonders, but they aren't wondrous enough. Jesus told us that we should, Lay up for (ourselves) treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20). And young Mary was right when she said the Seven Wonders of the World, are to Touch and to Taste, to See and to Hear, and to Run, to Laugh, and to love.
These are gifts sent to us from God, and what He gives, may, in His wisdom, be temporarily lost for a time on this earth, but all will be ours in eternity â“ forever. By looking merely to the things of this earth, we can miss the wonder of Godâ™s love, given to us freely in Christ Jesus.
Lord, we receive the wonder of Your love. Thank You for the amazing gift of Your Son. We trust in Him now. In Jesus Name. Amen.