I’ve been contemplating the beauty of Jesus. As I age I have become less and less sure of certainties except for this one: Jesus is Beautiful, so very beautiful and worthy that as we fix our eyes upon Him we cannot help but worship Him; we cannot help but run towards Him. And as we trust Him with our hearts and our lives we realize that all the while He has been running towards us; chasing us; calling us; drawing us to himself with His relentless love.
This summer at King’s Camp He displayed His constant pursuit of His children with such love and faithfulness that we gazed in awe at the beauty of His presence. Over and over He exhibited His ability to provide for all our needs and His desire to meet us where we are. He poured out blankets of love over our campers and staff creating bonds of fellowship that will continue beyond the grave. He did this as we determined to set aside distractions to rest our heads on His chest as the apostle John and look full in His wonderful face.
Preparing for camp and through the weeks of camp, we as a staff remained in the gospel of John…I’ve continued to linger there. John knew something about the personal touch of Jesus. He lived longer than all the other disciples, historians believe he lived well into his nineties. He had plenty of time to recount the life of Jesus and recall His interactions. Often in the gospel he calls himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”(John 13:23, John 19:26, John 20:2, John 21: 7, John 21:20) I imagine that he replayed visions of his days with Jesus over and over in his head, that he contemplated the beauty of Jesus and rested in His love.
In his gospel he gives us windows of Jesus’ ministry, how He met the needs of individuals very personally even as He was ministering to crowds. He tells us how Jesus went back to check on individuals (John 9:35). John gives a view of the nature of Jesus, who so wants His disciples to understand the depths of His love that He has for them and that they are to have for one another, that in taking off His cloak He presents Himself as a lowly servant to wash their feet - even the feet of one He knows has betrayal in his heart. John prefaces the recounting of the scene with this phrase, “Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” (John 13:1) His love remains constant never wavering.
With these personal encounters John also opens windows into the response of those who recognize the beauty of Jesus. And it is worship…unabashed worship, the kind of worship that releases false pretenses to abandon oneself to Him, to wash His feet with tears of love and vulnerability. It is worship that recognizes that He has set us captives free and released us from our prisons of darkness (Isaiah 61). Worship was our response to Jesus this summer.
John gives us a scene of Jesus’ parting dialogue with His disciples before the final chaos begins. He discloses to us that Jesus prepared his disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them and that Jesus reassured them that He is the way, the truth, and the life; that anyone that has seen Him has seen the Father; and that the Father was going to give them another Counselor, a Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. (John 14) John invites us see the reality of the Trinity.
One of our goals this summer was to lay a foundation for our campers of a good and beautiful and true narrative of the nature of God. We did what John told us to do - look to Jesus to see what God is like. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face.” …Lauren Daigle has a beautiful rendition of this song ( https://music.apple.com/us/album/turn-your-eyes-upon-jesus/1447184494?i=1447184967 )
As I personally turn my attention upon Jesus and gaze upon the beauty of who He is, I understand that His kind of relentless love demands a response from me….and that that response is worship. For all that He is and has done, I cannot help but love and worship Him. I cannot help but fall to His feet and let my tears flow. As I shift my focus towards the One who is the Light of the World (John 8:12), I am beginning to understand the kind of vision that Baby and Clare Clark and others shared in looking “full in His wonderful face”…And in so doing responded to a calling to create space and time in a place called King’s Camp where people could come to see the goodness and glory of Jesus, the King of Kings. I am convinced that they like John and countless saints before them encountered the beauty of Jesus and knew that He was worth it. ~ J. Clark
Thank you to all our staff and teachers and worship leaders and volunteers this summer. Thank you for deciding that Jesus is worth it!
Staff: (alphabetical order)
Corbin Aaen, Kevin Aaen, Judah Barber, Maddie Cannatella, Austin Clark, Cullen Clark Isaac Cupples, Terral Davis, Annette Demartinos-Barker, Molly Devitt, Caroline Glath, Audra Grimes, Anna Beth Guerriero, Taylor Hebert, Tucker Hibbard, Savannah Hidalgo, Jennifer Johnson, Katelyn Keller, Allie Grace Kennedy, Nathan McClain, Russell McCann, Megan Prudhomme, Peyton Rivera, Allie Ross, Cassidy Shelby, Molly Stokes, Katie Beth Thompson
Teachers & Worship: Ashley Accardo, Malorie Akin, Cody Albritton, Hannah Bass, Kayla Cupples, Stephen Fife, Caroline Glath, Jeremy Lowe, McKenzie Reech.
Activities and Electives: Maddie Dearman, Sawyer Hibbard, Patrice Reppond, Ben and Jennifer Thomason, Alison Tugwell.
Drivers: Diane Ball, Andrea Gladney, Sarah Green, Fran Johnson, Nancy Stutts, Georgia Turner.
Clean Up/Work Study: Elizabeth Barkley, Alexis Barnett, William Blazer, Daniel Bouligny, Gavin Cain, Madaline Clary, Peyton Clary, Isabel Colvin, Braylee Cooper, Olivia Delcambre, Zoe Evans, Anna Kate Glath, Camille Glath, Allison Guerriero, Jack Gwatney, Aubry Hidalgo, Jacob Hosea, Hayden Johnson, Asher Jones, Maggie Kennedy, Zack Luke, Lily Marchand, Mary Grace Meadows, Cameron Oglesby, Cason Oglesby, Blair Petitjean, Caroline Pleasant, Hayes Thibodeaux, Megan Toney, Amanda Vincent, Maddie Whittington.
Ashley Accardo, Aaron Bankston, Bradley Davis, Ty Davis, Kallie Kilchrist, Ben McNeil, Ashley Prudhomme, Hannah Williams.
Music: John Bolding, Cullen Clark, Tucker Hibbard, Joshua Mote, Molly Stokes.