(Jesus said) "We must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work." John 9:4
Mr. and Mrs. Brown liked to spend time together.
In that spirit of togetherness they booked a cabin on the cruise ship Marco Polo as it made a 32-day voyage to Britain from the West Indies. Now no matter how much you like someone, 32 days on a cruise ship can bring about a spat for the most faithful of friends.
A spat is what happened to the Browns. That's why, on day 28 of their 32-day excursion, they decided to take a flight home. They went to the airport together, but then, somehow became separated. It was then 65-year-old Mrs. Brown grew anxious and thought her husband had returned to the ship (which he had).
Mrs. Brown was confused: should she take the jet or return to the ship? She hesitated too long and the decision was made for her. Around 8 p.m. she saw the Marco Polo sail past the close-to-the-water airport.
But Mrs. Brown has grit. She wasn't going to see her ship sail without her. She walked to the shore and, fully clothed, jumped in for the swim to the ship: no matter the water was cold; no matter it was growing dark; no matter the ship was faster than she; no matter nobody on that great vessel's decks could see her slogging through the water.
The Marco Polo wasn't going to sail without her ... or so she thought.
Four hours later, Mrs. Brown was pulled from the icy waters by some fishermen who heard her weak call for assistance. When they fished her out, she still clung to her water-soaked handbag.
Friends, you have to give points to Mrs. Brown. She is one determined lady. She beat the water; she survived the waves; she managed to do what someone far younger and healthier might not have been able to do. She did a lot but she never caught up with her ship. The Marco Polo sailed without her. Mr. Brown ended up at home and Mrs. Brown ended up in the hospital. (She's okay.)
Now there is a moral to this story.
For all of us time is running out, and the hour is going to come when our ship will sail. We will breathe our last and we will either be taken to heaven or we will not. At that moment, if Jesus' invitation to forgiveness and heaven has been heard, we are safe. If we procrastinated or hesitated, or decided to wait for someone else, the ship will sail without us.
At that moment, no amount of effort, no super-human willpower will get us aboard. On that day no friendly fishermen will pick us up; no antiseptic hospital will nurse us back to health. Our ship will have sailed, and we will be left behind and lost forever.
This is why we pray for all the spiritual Mrs. Browns who have a tough time figuring out what they are going to do. We need to pray the Holy Spirit brings these procrastinators to that point where they are given a faith which says, "I don't want the Savior's ship to sail without me."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have called me, and I am not missing the boat. Now send Your Holy Spirit upon others who are not sure of what they should do. While there is time let them respond positively to Jesus' invitation to salvation. In the Savior's Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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