Dear Friends of Second Church,
Maybe you have read about the possible discovery of the Tomb of the Ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, which was announced recently by an archaeologist based at the University of Arizona.
If the discovery turns out to be true, it will be the most significant archaeological find since King Tut’s tomb in 1922.
And it’s important to mention King Tut (really, the Pharaoh Tutankhamen) right here for two reasons: first, Queen Nefertiti was his mother. Second, guess where (they believe) they found her tomb?
That’s right: using new scanning technology, archaeologists have identified a hitherto undiscovered, sealed doorway…in King Tut’s tomb.
Apparently, Egyptologists have always found it strange how small the tomb is…more like an antechamber than a full tomb. And Nefertiti’s final resting place was always a mystery, lost somewhere in the Valley of the Kings.
Now, for all the splendors of King Tut’s tomb, it may, indeed, turn out to have been just an antechamber all along, with even greater splendors hidden on the other side of that sealed door.
It reminds me of archaeologist Howard Carter’s first discovery of Tut’s tomb in 1922. It is said that after the very first swing of the pickaxe to open the tomb, Carter jumped to the hole with a lamp, eager to be the first to peer into the darkness with a lamp.
“What do you see?” asked one of the other explorers as a hush fell over the team.
“Marvels…” said Carter, his voice trailing off. “I see marvels.”
Perhaps those marvels are just the beginning—we will see.
It should remind us, also, that just when we might think that the people and places we know so well have no surprises left to spring, no mysteries remaining to uncover, no further treasures buried to unearth, well…guess what? They just might.
In fact, the same is true for you and me. Just when we think there is nothing that could possibly surprise us about ourselves—when it feels as if we must be beyond astonishment at the plusses and minuses that make up who we are—it turns out that there are undiscovered chambers that have yet to be opened. If only all of them held beautiful things!
And yet, wisdom comes in learning to see and know things as they are, not merely as we might wish they were. That’s especially true of our hearts, and of our messy, messy lives.
Maybe faith comes as we learn to offer them to God—to let God show us how even the seemingly unbeautiful, long-hidden things within us might be healed, or even prove useful in healing someone else, and therefore a strange but vital gift bequeathed to us, or a way that God works through us.
As summer trundles on, and the office is half-empty, and the neighbors are off to the Cape, and the nights offer their gentle, quiet moments for reflection, may we seek to open the sealed doors within ourselves and find a way to offer what is in them to God and to each other.
That would be marvelous, indeed.
See you in church