While preaching this past Sunday, some folks in the pews and our Associate Pastor seated on the other side of the pulpit gave me the look — that slightly bemused, quizzical look of “Did he just say that?” Preachers expect that look from time to time.
What triggered the look, and probably woke a few folks up, was when I compared the Spirit of God to the “American Pickers.” Ever watch Mike and Frank on the TV show “American Pickers,” scouring the byways, broken down barns, and cluttered garages for what they lovingly call “rusty treasures”?
These guys pick through forgotten, discarded, or stowed-away items, what many would label trash or debris, for anything with overlooked or unseen value. The American Pickers have to push through weeds, brush, cobwebs, and untrusting property owners, but they are driven to uncover and reclaim rusty treasures.
The “rusty gold” that gets these guys REALLY excited is usually obscure and rusty auto parts or a vintage bike or motorcycle frame. “I really can’t wait to get this back on the road!” they exclaim passionately. Their expertise and enthusiasm changes junkyards into treasure troves. They envision that junky jalopy reclaimed and riding again.
So, I preached on Sunday, the Spirit of God is like that moment. The Spirit of God sees something in us that others or we ourselves may not see or value.
And the Spirit of God can get us moving, too, even if we feel we have reached a dead end, like a rusty relic hidden in roadside weeds. Christians testify that when we are broken down, when the wheels come off, when the world would discard or devalue us, the Spirit of God is that passionate power that can get us out of our ruts, back on the path, moving again with purpose and enthusiasm (from en theos or “in God”).
As the apostle declares:
II Corinthians 4:7