Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My Feet Are Sore, My Spirits Soar, But My Ears Don't Hurt

Saturday Ginny and I did it all.

After Breakfast at Dave’s Diner with Donald and Helen — where I teased Helen unmercifully about revealing the lavish $4 present I planned to Give Ginny for Christmas (it was a topper for her car antenna) — Ginny and I attended two, almost three, holiday celebrations back to back to back.

First we toured the Festival Of Trees at the Main Library where various groups decorated dozens of Christmas trees around three floors of the library’s central staircase.

We viewed the most charming Christmas village display I have ever seen. The patriotic tree covered with flags behind Ginny displays the photos of Jacksonville service men.

This tree decorated with antique dolls charmed Ginny:

After wandering hand in hand among the forest of Christmas trees, we visited a number of different churches in A Century Of Sanctuaries, the 2007 Historic Church Tour, sponsored Downtown Vision Inc.

We walked to the first four churches on the tour then sore feet dictated that we ride the trolley for the rest of our tour.

Twenty-three of Jacksonville’s churches burned to the ground during the Great Fire of Jacksonville in 1901. Therefore few of our church buildings can claim to be more than a hundred or so years old; practically all of them were constructed after the fire.

In Jacksonville the term “Historic” means anything older than John Cowart.

Churches of all sorts were open for this tour: AME, Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian. While on the surface various Christian denominations differ, all main-stream churches have one thing in common.

Here are three photos of stained glass windows I took inside three different churches along the tour. (I could post others of the 65 photos I took, but Blogger will stand for only so much).

Each of these windows portrays one thing.

The one thing that counts. Without it Christianity is meaningless, the Virgin Birth a fable; walking on water a hoax; love thy neighbor a joke; the cross a travesty.

These are Resurrection Windows.

The sparking solemn glass depicts an artist’s idea of the scene when Jesus came out of the grave to be greeted by Mary Magdalene.

“Jesus is declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead”.

Jesus Christ rose or rotted.

If He’s just another dead guy, who needs Him? The caverns of the earth are filled with the pestilential dust of dead guys.

Because Jesus Christ is our risen Lord, everything else falls into place; without Him alive and kicking, nothing else makes sense.

Because He ever lives, He is able to say these words inscribed above the organ pipes at the front of one church we visited:

Because they knew He is Emanuel, the living God, God come to earth in the flesh, the Christmas angels could proclaim at His birth, “Fear not. Behold I bring you good tidings or great joy which shall be unto all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”.

Without this Savior, who rose from the dead, we die without hope and the weight of our sin presses us down into the dank moist soil at the bottom of the grave.

And that sin weighs on us for all eternity.

And our children have no more hope than our parents did.

But because He lives, we also shall live.

It’s Jesus or nothing.

For there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.

Don’t understand it all?

That doesn’t matter.

Come anyhow.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give thee rest,” He said.

That’s His promise.

As the Christmas hymn Hark The Herald Angles Sing says, “Join the triumph of the sky. Born that man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give us second birth”.

That’s what Christmas celebrates.

Speaking of song and music…

After walking through the Festival of Trees and the Century of Sanctuaries tour, Ginny and I kept on walking.

We intended to take in an open air afternoon concert of Christmas music given by a group playing 100 tubas.

But the rascals finished playing earlier than their brochure announced.

We missed the hundred tubas.

By the time we got there, expecting to hear another hour and a half of tuba music, the players had all packed up their tubas and blown away.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:01 AM


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