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Camels, Camels, Everywhere

Posted by Dave Peters on June 05, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

Soon after I moved to Lancaster County, I had a conversation with one of my neighbors.  He shared with me his insights on which breed of cow produced the best milk.  He would only drink this type of milk, but I don't remember what it was.  What I do remember from that conversation was that after educating me regarding breeds of cows and quantity and quality of their milk, he mentioned that we had Amish neighbors one street over who raised camels specifically for the milk.  Since that conversation, I have driven past the "camel farm" many times.  I thought that they had two or three camels, but just last week there were eight camels outside.  Wow!

This week I had the privileged of attending Sight and Sound Theater's production of "Moses."  Another WOW!  In addition to all of the amazing things that happened during the show, they also included live camels throughout the time we were there.  Camels weren't the only animals in the show, but I am more likely to see dogs and birds and horses in America than I am to see a camel.  These camels not only got stage time, they also went up and down the aisles near where we sat.

So what's with all the camel's in Lancaster County?  I don't think I've ever seen this many camels in such a short period of time- not even at a zoo.  And these camels appear to be a lot healthier than the ones at one zoo we went to where the humps of most camels looked like they were sliding off the side and ready to fall off of the animal.  (Then there was the camel at one zoo that reached out and licked my friends' baby- but that's another story).

Apparently Jesus was far more likely to see camels than we are.  He once used a camel as an illustration of a spiritual truth.  After a rich man had a discussion with Jesus and Jesus had challenged the man to true discipleship, the man refused.  Jesus then commented that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven.  Some people think that there must have been a gate in the city that was the camel's gate and the camel had to duck down or crawl through to get in.  But Jesus wasn't saying that it is difficult to get into heaven.  And the people who heard him knew that he wasn't saying that with some effort people could get into heaven.  Jesus' followers immediately asked that if a rich person couldn't get in, who could?  Jesus' response was that it is impossible to get into heaven on our own, but only with God is that entrance into heaven possible for us.  

At the end of Jesus' life on earth, He died a sacrificial death for all who would place their faith in Him.  Indeed, apart from Jesus, the entrance to heaven is blocked for all people.  But with God, through Jesus' work on our behalf, entrance to heaven becomes a reality.  What we could not do ourselves, God did as an act of His grace, mercy, and love.  Praise the Lord.

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