ST. PAUL’S HISTORIC Landmark Center at 75 West Fifth Street in Rice Park completed in 1902, was designed by Willoughby J. Edbrooke in Romanesque Rival architecture. It originally served as the United States Post Office, Courthouse, and Custom House for the state of Minnesota. In the 1970s, a citizens’ group saved the building from demolition and restored it to its previous grandeur. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and reopened to the public as Landmark Center in 1978 and serves as an arts and culture center.
I WAS DRAWN to the details in the Romanesque Rival style and completed this Ink with Pen and Brush two weeks ago. I thought it a fit companion to our Thought for this week—Landmarks
LANDMARKS ARE A recognizable natural or artificial feature used for direction finding. The costal lighthouse is a prime example. In a broader sense, I see ‘landmark’ appropriately applied to any sign or symbol designed to remember the past, enrich the present, or point to a future.
We live with our landmarks: Wedding rings, Kids inch marks on a door frame, National holidays, Flags and banners, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Photos, Mementoes, Compass, Tower transmissions, GPS, you get the idea. As landmarks, these point to past, present, or future destinations.
God provides His landmarks: Sun, Moon, Rainbows, Sabbath, Tabernacle, Temple, Cross, Communion and Baptism to name a few. One example follows the defeat of the Malekites in Exodus 17, …the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered, and make sure Joshua hears, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” The written scroll became the ‘landmark’ to recall what God did in the past.
Landmarks toward God
IT SEEMS TO ME God sometimes uses a metaphor to help us better understand what is beyond our finite comprehension. For example, using light to describe himself: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5. He continues to use the metaphor of light as a landmark pointing to God himself:
- First, in the Genesis record of Creation.
God always existed. He created light as a landmark to help us understand something of his character opposed to darkness. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:3, 4 [NIV]
- Second, in Jesus’ Incarnation.
In response to generations of promises through the prophets, God manifest himself in one single body as Immanuel—God with us—in Jesus. When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
- Also, in Jesus Followers.
Jesus ascended and gave the Holy Spirit of God to his followers. Now the light of God and Jesus is in each Jesus follower and is the landmark of light pointing to God. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:14 [NIV] How does that work?
Function of God’s Landmarks
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:15, 16 [NIV] We “let (allow) the light to shine” through us by allowing the Holy Spirit of God to do through us what he did through Jesus—good deeds:
“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40ff [Msg.]
Jesus said, You are the light of the world. Our individual world begins with those who live under the same roof, then to extended family members, neighbors, fellow employees and everyone you meet today. You and I are ‘landmark lights’. What they see in us draws them to God the light source.
But you (Jesus followers) are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 [NIV]