Saturday, April 23, 2011
Never Forget the Cost of Easter
He was an old man by now, the weight of years upon him. Carrying a metal bucket full of fresh shrimp, every Sunday without fail, Captain Eddie made his way down to Crandon park in his Key Biscayne home. While others fished, he fed the gulls. As he walked down the pier, it was almost as if they knew he was coming.
Hundreds flew all around him, screeching loudly, causing some to wish Captain Eddie would quit. But he fed them every Sunday until just before he passed away.
I hadn't thought about Eddie Rickenbacker for a long time until today. He was a WW1 ace for America, who went back into the service to help anyway he could during WW2. On a last minute hop via B-17 from one island to another, his plane went down. Though the Navy searched a wide area, the men weren't found and currents pushed their rafts outside the search area.
Days went by with no food, and the men, by now hundreds of miles from land, began to wonder if they'd be rescued in time. So they conserved their energy, caught rainwater in their clothing, and prayed. Captain Eddie had covered his head with his aviator's cap and dozed off, but was awakened by a strong whisper from his friends. "There's a bird on your head!"
Quickly, Eddie caught the seagull, and giving thanks to God, the men killed it and ate, and used the leftovers to catch enough fish to survive until they were rescued. A day or two later, another gull landed and was caught. Captain Eddie asked, "Don't we have enough bait?" And in an amazing act of faith, they let it go.
Two days later they were rescued. Their lives were saved by God through a gull. Captain Eddie never forgot to say "thanks."
We observed Good Friday last night with our friends at New Hope. It was a darker service as we tried to come to grips why who we were before Christ and why He had to die. Our sanctuary wasn't full.
But across the street, the Little League was overflowing.
Was looking at a site yesterday for a festival in Caravelle. It was this weekend - Saturday and Sunday. Easter Sunday.
My friend Scooter Noland, in Costa Rica learning Spanish before heading to Venezuela with his family as missionaries wondered in an email to me about whether we here in the US have some things backwards. I'm quoting him below:
Living in another culture (Costa Rica) has really opened my eyes as to how other see the USA. Other than the headlines of the USA and gay marriages, it is interesting in a land of 98% Roman Catholicism, lost by most standards, that they celebrate the life and death of Jesus in such a HUGE way.
Today life is lifeless as ALL of the businesses have closed and everybody has gone to mass to watch dramatic presentations and take part in processionals which include scripture, prayer, fasting, and the like. These days are so significant to the people here that $$ is nothing compared to thinking about the life and death of Jesus for a solid week.
In the land of "In God we Trust" we celebrate the holidays of dead presidents and liberators and think very little of the Greatest Liberator and King ever. - end quote
Have you paused today to remember Jesus Christ?
Have you taken time to remember what He did for you?
Will you be in worship on Resurrection Sunday, and bring everyone you can with you?
Or have you forgotten His sacrifice and its cost?