Pause for Thought

One of the very recent highlights of my life was a trip to the Grand Canyon.

Peter Baker | 22:00, 30 March 2013

As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon had always been on my bucket list of things to do. But I never expected to realise that dream so soon! A planned visit to a Church in Phoenix grew into a generous offer of a two day excursion to the Canyon.   

Grand CanyonWe travelled several hours through Wild West country; and as we arrived within the National Park boundary, our hosts told us to keep alert for the first glimpses of that familiar red sandstone poking its craggy form up into the skyline.

The anticipation felt like an early childhood memory of a game we used to play in the car on our way to the location for the summer holiday.  The first to spot the sea wins an ice cream.  An ice cream would have been an excellent prize in the scorching heat of the Arizona desert. Sadly it never materialised because I was on the wrong side of the SUV!

There are some events and experiences in life which never quite live up to their hype.  

There are some events and experiences in life which never quite live up to their hype.  A greatly anticipated Cup Final, a must have gadget, the release of an Oscar winning movie, has each fallen into that category for me.  But there are some which in reality are even more amazing . The Grand Canyon was one of those in my book. 

Standing several miles above and looking down to the Colorado river at the bottom, snaking its way through the Canyon, I have never felt so small and yet so big at the same time. The sheer scale of this phenomenon overwhelms the human senses and yet somehow the impact also translated for me into a transcendent experience of beauty and wonder. So much so that I wanted  to respond, to worship and say thank you. 

A massive force must have brought into being a movement which continues to run deep and wide, two thousand years after it first burst upon the world.

No one knows for sure how this remarkable geological mega structure was formed.  A number of powerful processes have clearly combined over aeons to create what we see today.  One things is for certain the Grand Canyon wasn’t produced by a solitary native American dragging a stick behind him! Something very big is needed to explain it all. 

The Passion of EasterSo it is with the existence of the Christian Church. A massive force must have brought into being a movement which continues to run deep and wide, two thousand years after it first burst upon the world. 

On Easter Sunday, the Church celebrates that historical event. For in the resurrection of Jesus Christ a hole was left in the ground which has provided millions of people the world over with good reason to stand and look down in wonder and then to look up in worship.  

 

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