Thursday, January 31, 2008


Yesterday at 2 pm, just 2 hours behind schedule, we set sail for Liberia.

It's amazing to think that we are just 1500 miles away from a world that is so different from our western culture. It's mind-blowing actually.

When we left, a Spanish man, I'm not sure who he was, stood alone on the wall of the port and played on his trumpet "Onward Christian Solider." There something so symbolic about his humble sending off. Here was this small community of average people from around the world, setting sail on a ship that looked a bit pauperish next to the huge cruise ships that came in and out of the port, setting off to do something absolutely amazing, and one man took the time to wish us goodbye.

I think about the night Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The king of heaven and earth had descended from His place on the right hand of God Almighty and was greeted only by a few poor shepherds. A humble beginning.

Charles Spurgeon, in the wonderful book Morning and Evening said this,

"In our Christian pilgrimage it is well, for the most part, to be looking forward. Forward lies the crown, and onward is the goal. Whether it be for hope, for joy, for consolation, or for the inspiring of our love, the future must. after all, be the grand object of our faith. Looking into the future we see sin cast out, the body of sin and death destroyed... he (the believer) seeth himself enter within the pearly gates, hailed as more than a conqueror, crowned by the hand of Christ, embraced in the arms of Jesus, glorified with Him, and made to sit together with Him on His throne...the thought of this future may well relieve the darkness of the past and the gloom of the present. The joys of heaven will surely compensate for the sorrows of earth."

As Christians we are looking ahead, toward heaven, for our reward, our peace, and our rest. Because if this, we will make choices which will not always align with the culture around us. People might think we are crazy, or they might just not notice at all.

If our ship was hosting someone famous or housed some sports team, the port might have been lines with spectators wishing us off. I mean, really, people waited in line for hours to buy their daughters Hannah Montana tickets.

Instead, there was one man, playing "Onward Christian solider". No fanfare, no splendor, no glory. But heaven is the reward and the battles we fight do not go unnoticed.
And I think it's true. The joys of heaven will compensate for sorrows of earth . Therefore, Christian soldier, should we not follow our Lord Jesus who, "Was a man of sorrows, much acquainted with grief?" It's not a popular theological position to take in our culture of self, and even harder to apply to our lives, but we can simply follow Christ, like Paul who said, "not that I have attained or am already made perfect, but this one thing I do, I follow after."

And so we move onward towards Liberia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful entry...