Seniors Gather to Bridge the Creek
DAVIS-A few senior adults who opted not to board the golf carts to the tabernacle actually did bridge the creek as they walked across the board slat bridge on their way to the Bridging the Creek Senior Adult Summit at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center Sept. 30.
For some, it was the first time they had been inside the massive, two-year-old, 7,253-seat tabernacle which graces the center of the Arbuckle Mountain camp grounds.
In welcoming the 930 seniors, Anthony L. Jordan, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, said many of them helped provide the facility, which “couldn’t be built today because prices have increased so much.”
Jordan said the summer youth weeks will always be the crown jewel of Falls Creek, but he is glad people can come to the campsite year around.
“Last year, there were 85,000 folks on these grounds,” he said. “Compare that with the 50,000-55,000 at Glorieta Conference Center.”
The seniors, directed by Ken Austin, minister of music at Blanchard, First, and Tom Poe, minister of music at Midwest City, Meadowood, sang praises, listened to the Wayne Allen Dickinson Band from Moore, First and the Dutch Creek Band from Union Association, heard a concert by recording artist Adam Paul Williams from Dallas, and absorbed the messages of two sermons by Ted Kersh, pastor of Tulsa, South Tulsa, and Shane Hall, pastor of Clinton, First, both speaking from the 6th chapter of Isaiah.
“There is no doubt this passage tells us Isaiah experienced God,” Kersh began. “But how did he get to that place? What would have to happen for us to get to that place?”
First, Kersh said, we have to deal with pride.
“Why would Isaiah bring up in the first verse that he saw the Lord in the year of Uziah’s death?” Kersh asked. He explained that Uziah, who reigned 52 years, did right in the sight of the Lord and He prospered him. But when Uziah became strong, his heart was proud and he acted corruptly. Leprosy broke out on him, and he was cut off from the house of the Lord.
“In the year pride died, Isaiah saw the Lord,” Kersh said. “The moment pride dies in my life, I can begin to experience the Lord.”
Second, he said, passion must be restored.
“We need a new passion in our churches, people falling in love with Jesus all over again, people who haven’t gotten over their salvation,” he noted. “Isaiah saw God high, exalted, lifted up.”
Kersh explained this passage is one of the few times “lifted” is used in the Bible. Another is when Jesus was lifted on the cross.
“It’s as if Isaiah saw One who would lift away his sins,” Kersh said.
Explaining “the train of His robe filled the temple,” Kersh said when kings won battles, they cut off the train of the defeated king and sewed it in own their own robe, so they would have ever-growing trains as they won battles.
“Isaiah saw the conquering king, one who had conquered his life,” Kersh divulged. “We can’t see Him as One who rules our life, until we see Him as One who conquers us.”
Finally, we have to recognize His presence, Kersh said.
“With two wings, the seraphim covered his face, not wanting the Holy God to see him; with two wings, he covered his feet, showing respect, and with two wings, he flew, now ready for service,” Kersh said. When you have absolute, total submission and respect, you are ready to walk with God. You can’t experience the presence of the Lord without wanting to serve Him.”
Hall continued the passage in Isaiah by asking how a person can be fit to serve God.
“When we stand in the presence of the King, we recognize we are nothing, and yet we are something,” he said. “When we see His unfading holiness, His mighty power, His creative handiwork, we see we are nothing.”
But, Hall added, because of His gracious act of redemption, we are great to Him and treasured by Him.
“When we catch a glimpse of Him, we get a reality check of who we are,” he said. “But there is good news. He has taken our guilt away. There is a cost for our cleansing; there is suffering because of iniquity. And while we may not be fit for a King, there is a Savior who has taken our iniquity away. The one we are called to serve has made the unfit, fit. We become fit and serve the King because He touched us.”
Hall said when we recognize we are unfit, unworthy, only then are we fit to hear from Him.