Sermon Illustrations

In her book Mystery on the Desert, Maria Reiche describes a series of strange lines made by the ancient Nazea people in the plains of Peru, perhaps as early as 200 years before the time of Christ. The area where the lines are covers over 37 miles. It is impossible to make out what these line drawings are from the ground, and people at one time assumed they were irrigation ditches. No one really knew what they were until 1939 when Dr. Paul Kosok of Long Island University studied them by flying over them in an airplane. There is an assortment of perfectly straight lines, many running parallel, others intersecting, forming a grand geometric form. In and around the lines there are also strange symbols, and pictures of 70 animal and plant figures that include a spider, hummingbird, monkey and a 1,000-foot-long pelican. (see: for pictures that can be placedin power point) One geometric figure goes in a straight line for nine miles across the plain. All of them are etched on a giant scale that can only be appreciated from the sky. When viewed from high in the air, these seemingly random lines form enormous drawings of art. They have meaning.

People often assume that since they cannot see the purpose of something from their perspective that there is no purpose — no reason or rhyme to what they are facing. But from God’s perspective it makes perfect sense. There is not only order and design to what he is doing, it is a work of art. It doesn’t matter if you are too small to see the whole masterpiece, it is still there. And one day, looking from heaven, the mystery of what God has been doing will be clear to us. What looked like a ditch to us will be seen as a part of God’s design that has been stretched out over his universe. All the beauty and purpose of what God has done will make us say: “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:5).

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