Illustration results for Wailing Wall
Jerry Seigle and Joe Shuster were barely out of high school in the down and dirty days of the Great Depression when they came up with their brainchild. During these desperate days when big governments and big business and big problems made the little man feel even less powerless, these two Jewish boys came up with a comic book hero. He was stooped-shouldered and wore round-rimmed glasses, but when he was backed into a corner, he would rip open his shirt and take charge. The first dime novel that bears the name of Superman has him throw a wife-beater against a wall, grab a spy by the leg—leaping upwards with the terrified man in tow—and pitch a wailing warmonger over a stand of trees.
As other super heroes came on the scene his powers grew to offset diminishing sales. He could see across the universe, hear a cough on the other side of the earth and sunbath in the heart of the sun. In the effort to sustain interest in Superman, writers increased and decreased his powers all in the effort of trying to make him more human. In 1992 in the long series “The Death of Superman”, he dies from exhaustion and loss of blood. He is laid in a tomb. And then—silence, as DC Comics ceased publishing its flagship title. Was it the end?
Then in the spring of 1993 he was sighted. How did he beat death? The writers spun a tale of scientific-gobbledygook. The fans could’ve cared less. Superman, like Mr. Spock of Star Trek and Jesus Himself—had risen. That’s all that mattered.
Today one of the most popular TV programs is Smallville. It’s the story of Superman as a teenager. There is talk of a new Superman movie to be made.
Whether it is Lex Luther and kryptonite or other super hero competitors or even death, Superman appears to be invincible. But in Superman’s own words to a young man whose life he had rescued, “I’m not God.” As he jets into the air, he reminds the young man he is Superman.
I’m here to tell you that the God-Man, Jesus Christ, is not a fictional character. He literally lived. No reputable historian disputes this assertion. His death on the cross and his rising from the grave is not a piece of fiction. The evidence is convincing even to skeptics. Christians have placed their faith in the invincible Jesus Christ. Jesus can’t be defeated!
R. David Reynolds
How do you do that? I have a perfect illustration from my favorite book next to the Bible THE JOURNEY HOME by Orthodox Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. I’ve shared excerpts from his book with you in the past. Although it is classified as fiction, it is based on authentic events and a genuine friendship Rabbi Eckstein enjoyed with evangelical, charismatic pastor Jamie Buckingham. Pastor Buckingham went to be with Jesus in 1992 after a courageous fight with cancer. Rabbi Buckingham wrote his book as a tribute to Pastor Buckingham and their friendship. The fictional character Jamie is a caricature and personification of Pastor Buckingham. A journalist who is going to write a series of articles on Israel, this Jamie is touring Israel with Rabbi Eckstein. The two of them come to strengthen each other’s faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Jamie admits in the beginning of the novel that He really is not a real Christian. He honestly confesses, “‘Christianity isn’t something we’re born into like you Jews are born into Judaism.’ He sighed. ‘It’s something we accept. And I never really accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior’ [THE JOURNEY HOME, 5].”
The Holy Spirit begins moving in Jamie’s heart as he and the Rabbi travel through the Holy City. When they visited the Kotel, the Western Wall, or the Wailing Wall, Jamie was deeply touched.
Rabbi Eckstein continues the story: “I notice, out of the corner of my eye, that Jamie was writing a note and placing it in the cracks of the Wall. He, a Christian, was moved as I was by touching the hem of God’s holy earthly garments.
“‘What did you pray for?’ I asked reverently.”
“‘I asked that God would restore my faith in Him.’ Jamie looked abashed, humbled” [THE JOURNEY HOME, 8].
On the Via Dolorosa a few days later, Jamie was truly born again. Rabbi Eckstein finishes the testimony:
“‘Don’t you see?’ he said, suddenly sobbing. ‘He died for me, sinner that I am.’ With that, Jamie broke down and cried uncontrollably, ‘O Jesus, sweet Jesus. I’m sorry for my sins. O Jesus, thank you for saving me. O Jesus. . .’
“I stood in awe and silence as I watched his born again transformation and what God was doing to his heart. Jamie could not speak. He just sat down on the ground, clasped his head in his hands, and wept.
“‘Oh Jesus,” he finally said between sobs, ‘I accept you as my personal Lord and Savior. I receive you as my Lord, my Christ, my Friend.
“‘Fill me, Father, with your Holy Spirit, that I may serve You faithfully all the days of my life. You are my Lord, and in the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen. Thank You, Father, thank You, Father, thank You. . .’
“Jamie looked at me tearfully, almost oblivious to my presence yet eager to hear my reaction. Frankly, I didn’t know what to say. I had never witnessed anything quite like that before, except on those television evangelist shows . . . . A beautiful peace seemed to come over Jamie, as if the burden of life’s struggles was lifted from him. I envied him that peace” [SOURCE: Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Journey Home (Chicago: Shavit House, 2001), 194-5.]
A journalist was assigned to Jerusalem. He moved to the city and got an apartment overlooking the wailing wall. After several weeks he realized that whenever he looked out at the wailing wall there was this old Jewish man standing there praying vigorously. The journalist wondered if he might find a story here. So he goes down to the wall and introduces himself to the man and says, “You come every day to the wall. What are you praying for?” The Old Jewish man replies, “What am I praying for? Well, in the morning I pray for world peace. Then I pray for the unity of all people. Then I go home and have a cup of tea and come back to the wall in the afternoon to pray for the eradication of illness and disease in the world.” The Journalist was moved by the old man’s sincerity and persistence. “You mean you have been coming to the wall every day to pray for these things?” The old man nods. “How long have you been doing this?” questioned the journalist? “How long have I been doing this? The old fellow thinks about it for a minute and says, “Maybe twenty, twenty five years.’ The journalist is flabbergasted. “You mean you have been coming to the wall every day for twenty or twenty five years to pray for peace, the unity of people and the eradication of disease?” The old man nods. “Well how does it feel to come and pray every day for so many years for these same things?” The old man replies, “How does it feel? Why it feels like I’m talking to a wall.” Maybe that’s how it feels to you, too, sometimes when you are living through difficult days. You don’t see God in your situation or in your prayers. It’s like when you are talking to God it’s like “talking to a wall.”
When I was quite young, my family had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well the polished oak case fastened to the wall on the lower stair landing. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I even remembered the number - 105. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked into it. Once she lifted me up to speak to my father, who was away on business. Magic! Then I discovered that somewhere inside that wonderful device lived an amazing person - her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing that she did not know. My mother could ask her for anybody’s number and when our clock ran down, Information Please immediately supplied the correct time.
My first personal experience with this genie-in-the-receiver came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the toolbench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible, but there didn’t seem to be of much use crying because there was no one home to offer sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver and held it to my ear. "Information Please," I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two, and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. "Information." "I hurt my fingerrr-" I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. "Isn’t your mother home?" came the question. "Nobody’s at home but me," I blubbered. "Are you bleeding?". "No", I replied. "I hit it with the hammer and it hurts". "Can you open your icebox?" she asked. I said I could. "Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it on your finger. That will stop the hurt. Be careful when you use the ice pick," she admonished. "And don’t cry. You’ll be alright".
After that, I called Information Please for everything. I asked for help with my Geography and she told me where Philadelphia was, and the Orinoco--the romantic river I was going to explore when I grew up. She helped me with my Arithmetic, and she told me that a pet chipmunk--I had caught him in the park just that day before--would eat fruits and nuts. And there was the time that Petey, our pet canary, died. I called Information Please and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown-up say to soothe a child. But I was unconsoled. Why was it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to whole families, only to end as a heap of feathers feet up, on the bottom of a cage? She must have sensed my deep concern, for she quietly said, "Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in." Somehow, I felt better.
Another day I was at the telephone. "Information," said the now familiar voice. "How do you spell fix?". F-I-X." At that instant my sister, who took unholy joy in scaring me, jumped off the stairs at me with a banshee shriek-"Yaaaaaaaaaa!" I fell off the stool, pulling the receiver out of the box by its roots. We were both terrified--Information Please was no longer there, and I was not at all sure that I hadn’t hurt her when I pulled the receiver out. Minutes later, there was a man on the porch. "I’m a telephone repairman. I was working down the street and the operator said there might be some trouble at this number." He reached for the receiver in my hand. "What happened?" I told him. "Well, we can fix that in a minute or two." He opened the telephone box exposing a maze of wires and coils, and fiddled for a while with the end of the receiver cord, tightened things with a small screwdriver. He jiggled the hook up and down a few times, then spoke into the phone. "Hi, this is Pete. Everything’s under control at 105. The kid’s sister scared him and he pulled the cord out of the box." He hung up, smiled, gave me a pat on the head and walked out the door.
All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. Then, when I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston-and I missed my mentor acutely. Information Please belonged in that old wooden box back at home, and I somehow never thought of trying the tall, skinny new phone that sat on the small table in the hall. Yet, as I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversation never really left me; often in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had when I knew that I could call Information Please and get the right answer. I appreciated now how very patient, understanding and kind she was to have wasted her time on a little boy.
A few years later, on my way back to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half an hour between plane connections, and I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister who lived there now, happily mellowed by marriage and motherhood. Then, really without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please." Miraculously, I heard again the small, clear voice that I knew so well: "Information." I hadn’t planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Cou...
Dr. Adolph Lorenz, a famous surgeon, refused a drink at a banquet. He was asked "Are you a tee-totaler?" He responded, "Yes, my success depends upon my brains being clear, my muscles firm, and my nerves steady. No one can take alcoholic liquor without blunting these physical powers, which must be kept on edge. As a physician I must not drink."
Thomas Alva Edison was asked why he didn't drink. The great scientist replied, "I have a better use for my brains."
An Emergency-room Doctor wrote, "Recently we saw another preview of hell in the Parkland Hospital in Dallas. A woman struck down by a drunken driver. A college student lying semi-conscious following a head on collision with another drunk driver who himself was critically injured. The drunk's companion was dead. Four other drunks with lacerations and stab wounds waiting to be treated. Night after night, year after year, the same bloody trail of horror, major automobile accidents, stabbings, rapes, wife-beatings, the nightly emergencies treated and released or admitted to the hospital or pronounced dead on arrival; and almost always the bloody trail is lead by that honored man of distinction, the weekend drinker, not the alcoholic.
I wonder if there is that much joy to be gained from the total consumption of all beers and whiskies ever made, ever to equal even a small fraction of the innocent suffering, the damaged bodies, the broken marriages, the discarded children, the total brutalities and crimes that will inevitably accompany its use. What a quiet place our emergency room would be if beverage alcohol were ever abolished from our city!
Who claims 50 times more lives than all the illegal drugs combined? Who costs the American people 130 billion dollars every year? Who destroys 1 in every 4 families in America? Who kills over 200,000 Americans each year? Is it crack? Is it cocaine? Could it be heroin? No, the undisputed heavy-weight champion of the drug world and number one killer of Americans is ALCOHOL!
* There are over 18 million alcoholics in America.
* Cirrhosis of the liver kills over 30,000 each year and rising.
* 50 percent of the people on welfare are due to alcohol.
* 80 percent of all fire deaths are due to alcohol.
* 65 percent of the drownings
* 22 percent of home accidents
* 77 percent of falls
* 36 percent of pedestrian accidents
* 65 percent of all murders
* 40 percent of all assaults
* 35 percent of all rapes
* 30 percent of other sex crimes
* 30 percent of all suicides
* Over 80 percent of all arrests are linked to alcohol!
And one of the most disturbing statistics of all - 60 PERCENT OF ALL CHILD ABUSE IS DUE TO ALCOHOL!
Let's wage a war on crack, on cocaine, on heroin, and marijuana! BUT DON'T DARE EVEN MENTION ALCOHOL!
During the Vietnam war, 57,000 Americans gave their lives fighting for this country. A wailing wall was built in Washington with each soldiers' name engraved. But in that same 9-year period, when 57,000 died in Viet Nam OVER 2 MILLION AMERICANS were killed by alcohol! During the Viet Nam War, thousands of protesters were all over this country. What I want to know is where are the protesters against killer alcohol?
Scientists have only recently discovered the physical process that creates the slurred speech and drunken stupor. Once in the blood stream, alcohol causes a coagulation of the red corpuscles referred to as "sludging". The blood thickens so that it cannot flow freely and clogs the metabolic exchange of life-giving oxygen. And when cells are deprived of oxygen - THEY DIE! And because brain cells require a high oxygen supply continuously, they are particularly vulnerable! And brain cells are the only cells that do not reproduce! Brain cells destroyed are never replaced! Autopsies performed on drinkers, often reveal hollow cavities in the skull, where ENTIRE CONVOLUTIONS OF THE BRAIN HAVE DISAPPEARED! And according to studies by Dr. Melvin H. Kinsley, brain damage occurs progressively from THE VERY FIRST DRINK! The next time you see that man staggering drunk - YOU ARE WATCHING A MAN LITERALLY DESTROYING HIS BRAIN!
85% of all the children in foster homes are there, thanks to alcohol! God only knows the thousands of women and children beaten black and blue - thanks to alcohol! God only knows the rivers of tears wept - thanks to alcohol!
Mental illness and the homeless is in epidemic proportions in America. A panel of 20 doctors and scientists was asked in Pageant Magazine, what is the greatest single cause of insanity in the U.S.? THEY ALL REPLIED WITHOUT EXCEPTION - ALCOHOL!
Currently, 2 out of every 3 marriages end in divorce - and 2 out of every 3 adults drink alcohol! A Miami judge recently "shocked" the news media when he stated that a WHOPPING 90% OF ALL DIVORCES WERE CAUSED BY DRINKING PROBLEMS!
From a sermon by Curtis Rowe, "Wisdom for Successful Living" 8/4/2008
STORIES VS. LIFE
In 1962 I was given a trip to the Holy Land. Our tour began in Egypt, then continued through Jordan, Syria and Lebanon before ending in Israel. Morning and afternoon tours in Jerusalem took us to various holy sites.
One day our bus stopped before a bunch of huge stones in a tall wall. As I walked toward the wall, I was struck with the recognition of what it was. This is the Wailing Wall, a remnant of Solomon’s Temple! Jewish people come here to stick pieces of paper with prayer requests into the cracks between the stones, then to pray. A couple of pastors in my home area had been there, and I had seen their slides. What an awesome experience for me to recognize what I was seeing before the guide explained it to me! I had a realization, "This is that!"
A little over five years ago I preached a sermon on that topic. I’m going to dig it out and do it again. We need knowledge of the history of the Bible, but more than that we need experience in our individual lives of the events in the Bible.