“Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s armies.” Isaiah 6:5b NLT For years people had told me about it and how amazing it was. You have to see it! I understood the enthusiasm and knew that people truly believed in what they were saying. I even thought that someday I might see it and be able to understand their excitement in sharing. It ended up taking me 51 years before I was able to see it for myself. Last summer in 2016 my family and I experienced this together. I had moments of understanding why people got so excited. I, honestly, had moments of wondering why people got so excited. I could finally say, however, that I had seen what everyone had been telling me about. It was a great experience overall and I am thoroughly glad that I was able to see and experience it firsthand. The experience I am talking about is seeing and experiencing New York City. There is nothing like seeing something for yourself. I had been told about the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, the Guggenheim, Madison Square Garden, and Times Square. All of these things I had seen in pictures, videos, movies, and the news. But there is nothing like seeing something for yourself and experiencing everything it has to offer. I loved seeing everything we saw in New York City. It was a great experience for our family and we had a great time. It is something we will be able to talk about together for the rest of our lives. I feel even stronger about my experience of “seeing” Christ! I had been told about Jesus by friends and even strangers long before I met Jesus. It had been explained to me in very vague terms about what it might look like to experience Jesus in my life. For whatever reason I never really connected or even really paid much attention. It was like looking at a bad Polaroid of the Statue of Liberty. It just didn’t measure up. I mostly saw a very dim example of the very bright light that I would later come to know as Jesus Christ. So how could I have possibly thought much about how wonderful an experience it would be to experience a relationship with Jesus Christ? Then it happened! I went to church one Sunday and through the music, the members, and the message I saw Jesus for the first time in my life. I saw him in the warmth of the members. I saw him in the passion of the music. I saw Jesus in the sincerity and hope in the message. That Sunday morning I entered into church not knowing what I was looking for and I left having seen Jesus. I left having invited Jesus into my heart and life. What a difference it made to experience a relationship with Jesus Christ firsthand. I could say with Isaiah, “Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s armies.” And he is Jesus Christ. This Sunday we will begin a new message series entitled One Faithful Promise based on the book by the same title written by Magrey deVega. The message will help us think about what it means to experience a truly intimate relationship with Jesus Christ firsthand. I look forward to sharing this message with you Sunday. God is at work at St. Andrew’s and I can’t wait to see you in church!