Unappreciated Treasure

This weekend is a huge weekend for the Birmingham area … it’s  time for the Honda Indy Car Grand Prix of Alabama out at Barber Motorsports Park right next to Leeds & Moody. This is a world class event at a world class facility and it’s right in our back yard. Maybe you’re not an Indy Car fan, maybe not any sort of race fan at all, but simply visiting the Barber Motorsports Park and Vintage Motorcycle Museum is an incredible experience. The museum is identified as the world’s largest motorcycle museum and annually hosts thousands of visitors from around the world. The entire grounds of this park resemble a botanical garden and every area down to the grass parking lots is immaculately manicured. And then, of course, are the Indy Cars … each one costing around $3,000,000.  These open wheel race cars offer spectacular entertainment as they speed around the 2.3 mile, 16 turn course averaging 110-115 mph. Race fan or not, this event offers some intense competition as the drivers maneuver for position around the corners and speed down the straightaways.

In many ways this event and venue is grossly undervalued and under appreciated, especially by those of us who live so nearby. Every year I speak to folks visiting from other parts of the country who marvel at the beauty of the park, stating that it’s perhaps the most beautiful racetrack they’ve ever seen. When I tell them I live only a few miles away they say how fortunate I am.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is also grossly undervalued and under appreciated, especially by those of us who are so close to it. Many of us who have grown up in churches, who have multiple Bibles in our homes/car/workplaces, who have heard the Bible stories, who claim to be so familiar with it … we’re the ones who seem to be so nonchalant about the beauty and majesty of the Gospel. Have we gotten bored with it? Is the Gospel less than what we thought it would be? Does Jesus really not measure up to our standards? Is there something else we truly believe is more attractive? Are we just under the illusion that we’re already familiar enough with it?

Why does the Gospel not amaze us anymore? I tend to think it’s because deep down we’re very self-righteous people. We don’t want to be continually reminded of the hideous, filthy, rebellious, wicked nature of our sin and the Gospel exposes our sin in this way. We much prefer to think of ourselves as good people, deserving God’s love and favor. Grace implies we can’t even remotely make ourselves acceptable to God and that He alone must do the work of making us holy and righteous.  And He absolutely and completely does this for us in the person and work of Jesus Christ ... His life, death, and resurrection.

So this weekend go out to Barber Motorsports Park and enjoy a world class event at a world class facility. But even more importantly, there’s a world class event of eternal and infinite significance taking place at Community Presbyterian Church each and every Sunday. Be amazed and captivated by the grace of our God expressed to us in Jesus Christ. In fact, marvel at the Gospel even today!