Despite darkness in the huge cavern, rich reds and golds and blues covering the ceilings and pillars were obvious. The smell reminded me of my grandmother's cellar, and even though many people filing around the hallways and sanctuary, it was quiet and hollow sounding. We noticed a consistent flow of visitors and worshipers moving toward a side hall, walking toward a darkened doorway guarded by ancient wood oily with the touch of fingers. Once past, the panels of explanations written in a foreign language gave us little clue, but we moved with the line to a small area in the rear where the flow seemed to end. A tour guide was just inserting coins into a box, when we took our place in the onlookers' clump and a light came on, illuminating the object of attention, hidden behind a glass.
Inside a magnificently crafted, chapel shaped box adorned with the jewels and gold reserved for royalty, there was an object resting on a pillow. In the limited time the light shone on it, we learned we were looking at the actual hand of King Stephen I of Hungary, born in 1000 AD. He is revered, along with the relic of his holy right hand, and he is credited with turning the tribes of Hungary to Christianity. I felt a great sense of sadness to watch the faithful and the curious and the hopeful, gathering around the hand of a mortal man, dead since 1038, suffering the same fate each of the onlookers will suffer one day. There is no escaping death, even for a king.
It's so like mankind to put confidence in those things that have no lasting power. We eventually found some English explanations and read that once a year, the holy right hand is carried around the city of Budapest, so people can worship and honor it.
We do not have to put our confidence in dead relics. There is no reason to put our confidence in something that can not conquer death! This is what we CAN have confidence in:
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
God's right hand IS holy, and it is FULL and living. It is not empty or dead or fallen.
It may be easy to get arrogant, thinking, "I wouldn't ever trust in a dead man's hand," but how about all of the other things we trust in that have as much power as that hand? What is it for you? Financial security? Having a great job? A relationship? A respected position? Political stability? Living in a modernized country? Having good health? Put them in a box shaped like a chapel with a little pillow to rest them on, and they're just a dead hand. I need to pray and ask the Lord to help me see what I may have "put in the box." These are things that do not give me REAL CONFIDENCE. I can be CONFIDENT in the living, holy, full hand of God that waits to welcome me into His eternal kingdom that won't end.
Want to be confident despite what your days may bring? We can have total trust in God's living right hand where there are pleasures forever!!!!
Thanks so much for coming on the "Confidence Journey" with me these past few days as we traced the lessons I learned at Cosmovision, Corinth, and in the Cathedral. I'm not done. I haven't even left Europe yet! :) The Lord had more places to take me for lessons in confidence in July. There's more to come, and I hope you'll join me next week.