Categories: Pastors Blog
As you are receiving this, the Rice family is either leaving for or arriving in Washington D.C. Yes, the four of us will be climbing into the family car to travel to our nation’s capital for a fun filled, nine day journey. You do not want to miss the two men who will be preaching. On Sunday, May 30, Dr. Samuel “Dub” Oliver, President of East Texas Baptist University, will speak. Dub is one of the wisest, gentlest, most insightful men I have been blessed to know. Give Dub, his wife Susie, and their daughter Callie, a 2010 high school graduate, a warm Crossroads welcome. The following week Dr. Elijah Brown will be bringing the messages for our Sunday morning and evening worship times. Elijah is Assistant Professor of Missions at ETBU. He has been a professor there since 2009. You will want to hear Elijah’s powerful, energetic presentation of God’s Word. He and his wife, Amy, will be with you on that day. Both of these men were with me in Ethiopia at the beginning of the year. I am thankful to call them both my friend.
Now, back to our trip to Washington D.C…. One of our days will be spent visiting the monuments/memorials in and around the capital of our nation. These all serve as a visible reminder of great men and women in our nation’s history, who all exhibited great acts of national valor and heroism. They are presidents and soldiers. They led men into battle to wrestle freedom from the English. They wrote documents and led this nation to embrace a freedom that is for all men. The men whose lives are honored by these monuments/memorials are our heroes; they stand out among the men of our nation as examples of courageous leadership. One of those sights is Arlington Cemetery; row after row of graves holding the physical remains of men and women who gave their lives for the cause of freedom. Adorning many of those graves is a cross; the cross indicates the protestant/catholic faith of the dead. I write this in great anticipation of seeing all these sights. The older I am, the more in awe I am of the uncommon valor of men and women who devote their lives to the freedom of others. As a believer in Jesus Christ, there is only one monument which comprehensively expresses the uncommon valor of my greatest hero. The CROSS stands at the pinnacle of all human history. There is no greater monument to freedom than this one. It represents the just becoming the justifier (Romans 3:26). The cross is the reminder that the sinless one became sin, so that I might be made the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). The emblem sitting atop the graves of our nation’s heroes is more than a symbol of their faith, it is the sign of the Everlasting One receiving my punishment for my sin in his body so that I might live and not die (Isaiah 53:1-6; Romans 3:23, 6:23). I am looking forward to seeing the Lincoln memorial, the Washington monument, the Jefferson memorial, etc. however, may I never lose the awe and of wonder of gazing upon the CROSS on which my Savior died.
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he (Jesus) made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the CROSS. Colossians 2:15
Jesus, keep us near the CROSS,