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Wonder Of It All!

She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb (John 20:1) Easter Sunday

This Easter morning, millions of baskets were arrayed with the traditional treats of the day. In addition to colored eggs, most certainly there were mounds of jellybeans of every conceivable flavor; hollow chocolate bunnies, patiently perched on beds of plastic grass; and of course, those yellow bundles of goodness -- the much beloved, Marshmallow Peep!

Two Emory University scientists, probably inspired by a sugar rush after consuming several of those chewy chicks, recently decided to find out exactly what it was they were eating. So using practically everything short of a nuclear device, the dedicated duo conducted scientific experiments to discover, among other things, just what would dissolve a Peep. What they found was, in their words, "Peeps are some of the sturdiest birds NOT found in creation!" Perhaps alarming for some, the study revealed that neither toxic smoke, liquid nitrogen nor boiling water could break down the squishy birds! And in the incredible but true category, for what reason I'll never know, two brave teams of Peeps were launched aboard one of NASA's weather balloons not too long ago. Really! You can look it up!

As ridiculous as a scientific study of Marshmallow Peeps may seem, it nevertheless reminds us that in our technology-driven society, we are all-too-often focused on studying the superficial, while forgetting how to marvel at the miracle of life that is constantly unfolding before our very eyes. Reflecting on what he calls "The Miracle Season of Spring," a well-known newspaper journalist has written about this problem. He observed,

"Foolishly, we suppose that everything can be explained by science. Given a telescope big enough or a microscope strong enough, we perceive no secrets in immense outer-space, or in minuscule particles that may not be revealed.

"We set our middle-school biology students to the task of dissecting an earthworm so that they may report on the nature of the worm. What they might perceive, if only they would remember how to marvel and wonder, is the nature of God who created the worm.

"It is not required that one be learned in philosophy or theology to contemplate a cabbage [...]

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Stories you can use...

We've got a million of them (well, almost).

Courtship

The Christian Science Monitor once ran a story of a springtime in New York, when the fancy of a certain young woman had lightly turned to thoughts of love. She had been seeing a good deal of a handsome young man whose career was fast rising. “One perfect day,” the story goes... He called to say he had something special on his mind. He would pick her up in his car, a memorable jalopy, and they would motor to the country for a picnic. Their course took them to Long Island. The young man seemed preoccupied. Long silences — heavy with import — fell between the two. Then they headed back to New York. Back in the city, the young man broke the silence. He spoke solemnly of a great and significant event that was about to occur. Central Park, he said, would be the appropriate place for it to happen. As they drove through the park on that beautiful spring day, the young woman’s expectations soared. The young man announced that the great moment was at hand. He slowed the car down and headed for a shady enclave. This was it, he said, the climax had arrived. He was sure that she would feel the same excitement that he was feeling. The car, in short, had at that carefully timed juncture reached the 100,000 mile mark. The figures on the speedometer were turning slowly over as the car came to a halt. “everything is back to zero,” said the young man. “Yes,” said the woman to herself, “everything is back to zero!”

Responsibility

There was a young man named Buddy who spent two years working in the oil fields of New Mexico in order to earn money for college. One winter day, when he was ninety-feet up on a derrick, Buddy slipped on some ice that had formed on the platform. As he fell toward the ground, his safety rope took hold. He dangled precariously in the air for a long time before being rescued. Speaking about it later, Buddy could not stop saying how grateful he was to God for saving him. He said he learned from the experience that he could trust God to watch over him. The friend with whom he was talking asked, “Did you ever fall again?” Buddy said, “No. After that experience I always took a hatchet and some sand with me up to the platform. I would chop the ice away and then spread the sand.” The friend, half-jokingly, said, “If you trust God to look after you, why do you take all of those precautions?” To which Buddy replied, “I trust God to look after me, but what I learned in that accident was that God is also trusting me to do my part.”

Christmas

At Christmas, all roads lead home. The filled planes, packed trains, overflowing buses, all speak eloquently of a single destination: home. Despite the crowding, the crushing, the delays, the confusion, we clutch our bright packages and beam our anticipation. We are like birds driven by an instinct we only faintly understand—the hunger to be with our own people. There must be some deep psychological reason why we turn so instinctively toward home at this special time. Perhaps we are acting out the ancient story of a man and a woman and a Coming child, plodding along with their donkey toward their destination. It was necessary for Joseph, the earthly father, to go home to be taxed. Each male had to return to the city of his birth. The Child who was born on that first Christmas grew up to be a man: Jesus. He healed many people, taught us many important things. But the message that has left the most lasting impression and given the most hope and comfort is this: that we do have a home to go to, and there will be an ultimate homecoming. A place where we will be reunited eternally with those we love. Holmes, M., (Adapted).

Children

The pastor invited the little ones to come forward for the children’s sermon. After they had seated themselves on the altar steps, he announced he was going to talk about frogs. He asked the group, “When I say ‘frog,’ what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?” Promptly a child answered, “God.” Surprised, the pastor asked with obvious puzzlement, “Why do you think about God when I say ‘frog’?” The child replied, “Cause I know you didn’t bring us down here to talk about frogs.”

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