Summary: This message was pertaining to the dedication of our New building. It is adaptable to any format. God has given us beauty for ashes.
Church Dedication Message
Sunday, July 15, 2007 – 2 PM
By Pastor Jim May
Isaiah 61:1-4, "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations."
As I stood there looking it seemed like the vision before me was just a dream, or maybe a nightmare. The beauty and work that had been put into the object before me was forever lost, gone in an instant.
Carefully, the body had been brought together. With a creative hand, the body had been formed, beautiful in its appearance, unified in image of its Creator and perfect in its ways. But in a moment of time, all was lost. Beauty was now destined for the ash heap. The handiwork that had gone into its creation was forever marred and ruined. What a sad sight that was.
Yet even in the midst of sorrow, and with a mournful spirit, the work of restoration began. To bring this creation back into its former position would require a lot of work and would exact a high price. But the end result of removing the ashes and bringing the creation back into its profitable condition would be worth the price.
The vision before me was one of ashes, destruction, death and as I beheld the scene my spirit was mournful and heavy.
No, this wasn’t a burned out building beside the highway that I beheld. It was something far more significant than that. It was man, created in the image of God, formed from the dust of the earth into a perfect body that God had so lovingly and wonderfully made with his own two hands. God had take special care in this creation for he wanted it to be just right. Every part of this creation was undertaken with the utmost of planning, the greatest thought and design, to make sure that it was exactly as our loving God wanted us to be.
Everything else in creation had been simply spoken into existence. God had said, “Let there be light”, and light burst forth in abundance to dispel the darkness that had moved upon the deep making a division and caused the first day in the realms of time to appear in the infinite eternity where God dwells. Then he spoke the atmosphere, into existence, and caused it to make a small sphere in the vastness of empty space, giving it the perfect elements oxygen, nitrogen and all the ingredients needed for the habitation of his ultimate creation, man.
Into this sphere of atmosphere God spoke again and the earth, dry land, appeared out of the waters and God began to form the beauty of nature that we see all around us. Then God spoke again and the dry land sprang forth with life. Green covered the dry land as grass and trees, shrubs and bushes filled the land to provide both food and beauty for the ultimate creation that was yet to come. This was the 3rd day of his handiwork and God was pleased with what he saw.
On the forth day, as darkness once again surrendered its power to the light of God, he spoke once again and billions upon billion of stars appeared in their appointed places in the vast universe of outer space. We have never seen the edge of this space that God spoke into existence for our God is so great, so wonderfully omnipotent that there is no measuring his power. Our fastest space probes could never reach the end, no matter how many lifetimes it would travel, for there is always more to see of God’s great handiwork.
The stars were there to give us light, not just a twinkle of light in the night, but light that would enable us to understand the love, power, glory and majesty of God and his great plan for the ultimate creation that was yet to come. They are there to help us judge the time, determine the seasons and to keep track of God’s plan as it unfolds before our very eyes.