THE ONE | 5 FEBRUARY 2019

Families and Friends of Christ Our Redeemer,

A sea captain told a story of an Atlantic crossing he had made.  On that trip, his ship had sunk in the middle of the night.  Only by acting quickly had the crew managed to escape into the lifeboat.  It seemed their victory would be short-lived as the roughness of the sea made it unlikely that their small, open boat could stay afloat for any length of time.  As that reality sank in, one of the crew saw another vessel on the horizon, a large steamer.

They quickly searched the chest with the emergency supplies.  There was a candle and a lantern.  But there was no match.  Each man rummaged through his pockets.  Again, no match.  In desperation, they checked a second time.  At last one match was found.  The man who discovered it cautiously handed it to the mate.  With the same respect, he gave it to an officer.  Finally, the officer handed the single match to the captain. 

The sailors clustered around, holding up their jackets to keep out the wind.  While the captain had often been entrusted with precious cargo, no box or package had ever been worth more than that one match.  He knew it had great value because it was their only hope.

With this story in mind, it occurs to me that there are two ways of looking at Jesus.  The first way considers Him to be almost worthless.  When Jesus was doing His earthly ministry, these folks called Him a liar, a sinner, the devil, or a Samaritan.  Today, those who wish to minimize His work and purpose call Him a storyteller, a crutch, or a figment of our imagination.

The second way to look at Jesus rightly sees Him as being our only hope.  Acts 4:12 clearly states, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  In every generation, the Holy Spirit works faith in the hearts of those who were once condemned.  Leading them to repentance and Jesus’ cross and His empty tomb, those who believe in Him rejoice that they have been given life, forgiveness, and freedom by the Son of God.  They give thanks because they have come to value Jesus as the One, the only Light who can truly conquer the darkness of a broken world.

 

From one who trusts in the One for my hope,

Pastor Steve