Pastor's Blog

Where Scriptures Are Engraved

We flew over Washington D.C. looking for scriptures on monuments, buildings, and anywhere we might find them. Well, by virtual simulation that is. Leaning on angled supports with manufactured wind blowing in our face, at super acceleration we sped towards some distant landmark. Descending as we approached the ever-enlarging building, we slowed slightly as we entered through the magically opening doors into the interior, entered as if we were a drone and our eyes its camera. We paused only long enough for our virtually controlled eyes to zoom in on an inscribed phrase, a painted word, or embroidered letters on the scene before us. At each stop the unseen, narrating guide would read those excerpts. Over and over this was repeated as we traveled around the city from site to site. In each case, the detail, zoomed in on and highlighted, was a scripture, portion of scripture, or language extract from scripture. Ubiquitous across our capitol city, mostly unnoticed by the bands of tourists were portions of Scripture, the Word of God. Carved in the wood of a door, chiseled into stone, embroidered into a tapestry, brushed into a painting was the Word of God. From the Capitol building, to the Lincoln Memorial, to the Washington Monument, and to the other edifices along the way we went from scripture to scripture. One example, among the many is the Washington Monument; there are many Scriptures inscribed on the memorial blocks of its walls. But, what impressed me was that on its 555’ apex, on the east side engraved in its aluminum cap are the Latin words translated, “Praise be to God.” Who ever sees it? Yet, it’s there. I was totally fascinated by all those scriptures in all those places throughout the city of our government. Two thoughts began to drown out the narrator as I struggled to keep my balance on the yawing and roller-coastering of the flight: First, those scriptures were inscribed in all those places because the Word of God was once engraved into the moral consciousness and social fabric of our nation. No more. They remain on our edifices but not in our hearts and minds. Those scriptures in our Capitol not only go unnoticed by most tourists, they are largely no longer even considered, mused, perused, or employed by those who now govern in the city and buildings we toured. Second, oh, it is nice that the Scriptures are written in so many places in our Capitol, but, how desperately we need God’s word written in our minds, engraved on our hearts, and imprinted on our souls. What if on our every thought somewhere was engraved the Word? What if somewhere imprinted in our emotions was the Word? What if stamped indelibly on our conscience was the Word? Is this not what God was instructing when He told the people of Israel, “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, …And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:” (Deu 11:18-21). It is the Word that is missing. It may be engraved on our nation’s monuments, but it is missing in our thoughts, our conversations, our rationalizing, our debates, and our decision making. If a virtual tour were taken through the inside world of our lives, the inner domain of our homes, the walls of our places of worship, would we discover there God’s Word, ingrained, impressed, imprinted? What the teacher instructed his son to do with his commandments, “… write them upon the table of thine heart.” (Pro 7:3) we need done to our hearts and minds. Reliving the virtual tour as I type, I hear the words of the old hymn, “Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word…” I’m glad fragments of God’s Word are engraved on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial. But, I really need the Word engraved into the walls of my heart, embroidered in the fabric of my mind, and painted on the canvass of my soul.

-Pastor Clifford Hurst

August 12, 2018