Read on Air by Phil Foley,
Host of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church's Good
News From Tab Program on 12/6/00
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
that, an 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 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 the 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 he would throw the other end of the life line.
He only had seconds to make the decision.
The father knew that his son was a Christian, and
he also knew that his son's friend was not.
The agony of his decision could not be matched by
the torrent of the waves. As the father
yelled out, 'I love you, son!', he threw out the
life line to the son's friend. By the time
the father had pulled the friend back to the
capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath
the raging swells into the black of night.
His body was never recovered."
By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up
straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the
next words to come out of the old minister's
mouth. "The father," he
continued, "knew 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 the son's friend.
How great is the love of God that He could 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 life line."
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,
the two teenagers were at the old man's side.
"That was a nice story," politely said
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 hopes 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. Sorrow began to overtake the old
man's smiling face as he once again looked up at
the boys and said, "It sure isn't very
realistic, is it? But I'm here today to
tell you that I understand more than most the
pain God must have felt to give up His only Son.
For you see, I'm the man who lost his son
to the ocean that day, and my son's friend that I
chose to save is your pastor."
- AUTHOR UNKNOWN -
GOD'S LITTLE ACRE
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