Friday, February 29, 2008

The Old Man and the Pastor

A great one, take your time to read it. It's worth it!!!

 

The Old Man and the Pastor

 

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the Church's pastor

slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and before he gave his

sermon for the evening, briefly introduced a guest Minister who was

in the service that evening. In the introduction, the Pastor told

the congregation that the guest Minister was one of his dearest

childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments

to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate

for the service. With that the elderly man stepped up to the pulpit

and began to speak.

 

“A father, his son and a friend of his son were sailing off the

Pacific Coast,” he began, “when a fast approaching storm

blocked any attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were

so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor,

he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept

into the ocean as the boat capsized.”

 

The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with

two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began,

looking somewhat interested in his story. The aged Minister

continued with his story.

 

“Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most

excruciating decision of his life: to which boy would he throw

the other end of the lifeline. He only had seconds to make the decision.

The father knew that his son was a Christian -- he also knew that

his son's friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched

by the torrent of waves. As the father yelled out ‘I love you, son!’

he threw out the lifeline to his son's friend.”

 

“By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat,

his son had disappeared beneath raging wells into the black of night.

His body was never recovered.”

 

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting straight up in their pew,

anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old Minister's

mouth. “The father,” he continued, “knew that his son would step into

eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend

stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to

save his son's friend. How great is the love of God that He should do the

same for us. Our Heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son that we

could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you, and take hold

of the lifeline He is throwing out to you in this service.”

 

With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence

filled the room. The Pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered

a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded

to the appeal.

 

Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were

at the old man's side. “That was a nice story,” politely stated one

of the boys, “but I don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up

his only son's life in the hope that the other boy would become a Christian.”

 

“Well, you've got a point there,” the old man replied glancing down

at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face. Looking up

at the boys he said: “it sure isn't very realistic, is it? But I'm standing here

today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like

for God to give up His Son for me. You see, I was that father and your Pastor

is my son's friend.”

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