Wednesday, April 02, 2014
A Miracle In Harlem
You may remember hearing about the explosion that rocked Harlem a couple of weeks ago.
Two East Harlem multi story buildings were reduced to rubble killing 8 people, injuring 60 and displacing 100.
Of the 8 who lost their lives, 5 were members of a church that was located in one of the buildings.
NBC 4 in New York, in reporting on the horrific disaster, has also reported on a miracle---not on 34th Street, but in East Harlem.
It has been determined that the explosion was the result of a gas leak.
While crews were carefully sifting through the rubble, hoping to find someone who might have survived the explosion, New York's NBC 4 reports that there was a moment---a special moment. They don't call it a miracle, but other local news sources did. And many of those conducting the rescue and recovery also saw it as a miracle.
NBC 4 described it as "an uplifting moment from the painstaking recovery effort as crews pulled a large water damaged Bible from the rubble."
It was a very special Bible.
Especially to the Spanish Christian Church that was located in one of the destroyed buildings.
Other local news sources reported that the Bible was the original Bible used when the church was formed 80 years ago.
Rich del Rio, a local bishop of the Church of God told NBC 4, "This was in the depths of the rubble. Somehow God protected it."
The church's pastor, Thomas Perez suffered heart palpitations when he heard about the Bible surviving the destructive explosion, and in fact Letitia James, the city's public advocate, told Channel 4 Pastor Perez was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
Pastor Perez is fine. Those present said the pastor was simply overwhelmed with emotion.
They said finding the Bible intact, with only singed covers and a little water damage, showed the pastor "that they'll be rebuilding."
Most who were there are calling it a miracle that the Bible survived the intense heat and force of the explosion with only singed covers and a little water damage.
A couple dozen people, including clergy, picked up the Bible from the debris and carried it away from the rubble in what NBC called "a solemn and prayerful procession."
A touching story for sure.
Considered to be a miracle by most all who were present.
This incident also illustrates another, even more powerful truth.
Christianity in general and the Bible in particular are under widespread and vociferous attack by militant atheists, skeptical professors, misguided TV documentaries, the entertainment industry, public education, and general spiritual confusion in a culture that has become drunken from the cup of secular relativism.
Atheists and skeptics are becoming more and more emboldened to proselytize this generation, as they preach that the Bible advocates "fear, intolerance, hate and ignorance."
They call it an embarrassing and outdated "myth." And they find an alliance with our institutions of education and even the military.
This explosive attempt to destroy the Bible, which is God's Word, is destroying the foundations of our culture. And it is destroying the lives of individuals who believe the lie.
But in the rubble of this current cultural chaos, the Bible remains. Although sometimes not seen in the frenzy of the destruction, it stands. It's there.
God's Word will remain even in the rubble of a failed culture---or the rubble of a failing individual life.
Our most ancient ancestors were led by God's Word. America's Founders, according to Senator Daniel Webster, "Journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope." He said, "They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary."
This is why most presidents from George Washington to present have recognized the importance of the Bible.
President Andrew Jackson said, "The Bible is the rock on which our Republic rests."
President Ronald Reagan said, "Of all the many influences that have shaped the United States into a distinctive nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible."
President Abraham Lincoln often spoke of the importance of the Bible in national life, but he also recognized its importance in his personal life.
He said, "I am busily engaged in the study of the Bible. I believe it is God's Word, because it finds me where I am."
The greatest human and cultural failures cannot exceed God's willingness to forgive and restore. Does the Bible not say, "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
In the rubble of a building, a life or a wayward nation, God's Word will survive.
This is why we do what we do. Thank you for standing with us.
God, too, has spoken of His Word. He says, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."
Be Encouraged. Be Bold. Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.