Sacred Moments

Photo by Lucas Allmann on

I was in church the other day listening to the band sing a soft Christian song, and I noticed the sun rays streaming in golden warmth from the windows up above us. It brought me to a memory with my mom, a few memories actually.

One was when I was small enough to be held on her lap, maybe two or three years old. She had soft music on as she rocked me in the rocking chair. She was brushing my hair back from my forehead, and I recall the smell of pine-sol from her recent mopping in the kitchen. She said “This will be a memory,” and it was. Another memory I have comes in two parts. In the first, I was young still and she would lay me down for a nap in her bed, and she’d nap too. I remember lying there and the sunlight coming in filtered softly through white curtains, and the world seeming so quiet around us except for her gentle breathing. In the second part, I was grown, and she had asked me for the last time to nap with her. I didn’t sleep. I just lie there beside her, listening to her breathing and watching the sun stretch across the room to touch us in the silence.

And I realized that there are so many sacred moments we experience in our lives. They all feel so… holy. They are a moment when God looks down at us and smiles. When the world is some peaceful sort of heaven, like it always should’ve been. I think we feel God’s face turning toward us in those moments, that’s that feeling you feel.

I’ve felt it when waking in the middle of the night to feed and rock my child when she was a small baby, just us and the stars. I’ve felt it when I run trails all alone with just the birds, the smell of fresh pine and soil, and the sound of my feet to keep me company. I’ve felt it in the stillness of a Sabbath morning when I’m sipping coffee and hearing the house wake up around me.

God is near. He’s in the stillness, the silence, the calm, the soft breezes and gentle sunshine.

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

1 Kings 19:11-13

Do you recall any sacred moments you’ve experienced?

God bless!

The World As Witness

Some explain it away as pagan stories that the Bible took in; others say there are common, pre-historic memories preserved in each culture. Whichever way you look at it, there are many stories recorded in the Bible which can also be found in other parts of the world, and they’re too similar to be simply dismissed.

Eve and Pandora:

“The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:2-6

Compare, if you will, to the story of Pandora in Greek mythology. As it is written in Hesiod’s poem, “Theogony,” she was the first female, formed from the Earth. She was given a jar (mistranslated as box), as a wedding gift, and told to never open it (by the jealous Zeus who had tricked her). Her curiosity got the better of her, and all manner of illness and evil was released upon the world, bringing the cycle of birth and death to humankind. When she was finally able to close it, only hope was left inside.

If you recall, after Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Good and Evil, bringing death to mankind, God had a discussion with the rest of the Trinity.

“And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” Genesis 3:22

And hope was held back until it was given through Jesus. There are some differences, of course, between the two stories. In one, God gives the command to not eat the fruit, and the serpent tricks Eve into eating it. In the other, it’s really the serpent who tricks the woman into dying of curiosity with reverse psychology. Still, the two stories remain very similar.

Ancient Giants:

“When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.” Genesis 6:1-21

The Nephilim are usually described as fallen angels or sons of God.

The idea of heaven and earth mixing and creating them is similar to the Greek mythology of gods and demi-gods. First, there are the Titans, which were physically giants and basically gods, though less so than the “primordial deities.” They were the children of Gaia (Mother Earth) and Uranus (Father Sky). Then, we could also bring up the “Gigantes,” which means giants in Greek. They were aggressive and strong beings, but not always physical giants. They were made when Uranus’s blood fell upon Gaia, according to the poet Hesiod. They were very human-like when depicted in art. Apparently, the difference between the Titans and the Gigantes really lies in the fact that the Gigantes were earthborn.

In Hinduism, giants are called Daityas. They were the children of Diti (goddess of earth) and a sage, Kashyapa (the ancestor of humans). The Daityas were power-hungry and jealous of their half-brothers known as the Deva. The Deva were “heavenly, divine” beings. Generally, the Daityas were looked at as malevolent and the Deva as benevolent.

The differences are many, but the similarities are a little eerie.

Global Flood:

“Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him. Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth.” Genesis 7:1-6

Now, the story of the world-wide flood is in nearly every culture. Not surprising since the event was world-wide…

The Sumerian story, “Epic of Gilgamesh” dates back 5000 years, and describes Utnapishtim who builds a vast circular boat with tar and pitch, brings his family, seeds, and animals, and survives a flood released by the angry gods. He, like Noah, lets a bird out of the boat in order to find dry land after the waters recede.

In Native American folklore, the Ojibwe tribe has a legend of Waynaboozhoo and the Great flood. It speak of an evil world long ago where the creator decided to flood the earth. One man (Waynaboozhoo) made a raft for animals and himself. After waiting awhile for the waters to recede, he asked a loon to dive down to the “old world” beneath the waves for mud. He was unable to do so. So, the beaver tried, but was also unsuccessful. Next, the coot (a water bird) was able to bring back mud, and from it, the new world was formed. This story is almost exactly like the Ottawa legend, but in the Ottawa legend the main man is a prophet with a wolf-dog that the sea-god was jealous of, which the sea-god killed, causing the prophet to pierce the god with an arrow, releasing a flood. There’s numerous Native American flood stories.

In India, Vedic lore states their god (Brahma) came in the form of a fish to warn the Indian king Manu of a massive flood that will destroy all of humanity. The book, Satapatha Brahmana, says he was a “holy man, who, by penances and prayers, had won the favour of the lord heaven.” Manu had three sons before the flood, like Noah. However, in Manu’s story, the flood was not due to an evil world but simply part of the natural order of things. He builds a ship and fills it with animals and seeds. After the flood recedes, he is led to a dry mountain by the fish and proceeds to repopulate the world.

In Aztec myth, it was during the era of the fourth sun when people grew wicked and stopped worshipping the gods. The god of rains decided to flood the world, but he liked a devout couple, Tata and Nena, and warned them of the upcoming destruction. He told them how to hollow out a large log, bring corn to eat, and they survived the flood.

There are innumerable flood myths from Egypt, China, Scandinavia, and many other countries, and they are varied and sometimes strange (like blood flooding the earth instead of water). Although, it would be no wonder if the water covering the Earth was red-tinged due to all the death.

I guess you can interpret these findings in any way you see fit. The way I see it, it’s kind of strange to have so many unrelated, disconnected cultures describing the same event if that event never happened. It just reinforces the stories of the Bible and brings them to light from the differing perspectives across the world.

Sources other than the Bible:
Each of these sources have various other linked sources which are innumerable and not listed here.