Tuesday, March 8, 2011

“Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?” (Paul to the Church at Corinth)

It begins with a simple question asked by an inanimate sign at my local Starbucks. Giving an incorrect answer would cause me shame for not knowing, while a correct response would yield a 10 cents savings on my favorite beverage. I carefully studied the daring question:

“To whom was Walt Whitman referring when he pined, ‘O Captain! My Captain!’”

While the latte machine feverishly boiled the milk, and whispered conversation hung quietly in the air, I returned to my childhood and lifted from the shelf of my memory the books I’d read on this man of Men. I peeked in on his carefree youth, sputtered at his try-and-fail approach to career advancement, marveled at his ascendency to high office, and stood captive at his mastery of the inspirational word. He was an honored hero in my formative years and even now his life and tragic death move me to wonderment.

“Abraham Lincoln” I told the girl. She stared back at me, looked questioningly at my wife, and exclaimed, “You must have been in earlier and remembered the answer!”

“No!” I chided in my mind. “I know of whom the poet wrote for his life and words travel with me to this very day - living words - such as, ‘For score and seven years ago…’ and ‘The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.’”

Lincoln was a very good man but serves only as a weakened shadow of another Person we all know well. His youthful zeal impresses us. His career path seems more fail than succeed. His claim to fame seems weak compared to more forceful, savvy men. But in His death, He speaks more convincingly than any army that might work to stamp out His revolutionary message.

So I ask you a question, “To whom was apostle Paul referring when he pined, ‘Who are you, Lord?’” (Acts 6: 5).

While thoughts swirl, I invite you to return with me to the sacred Volume and recall the only answer deserving of this demanding question:

“I am Jesus! And I now invite you to become My ambassador to a drifting and sin-damned world.”

Dear friend, while the world may little note, nor long remember what we say, we must never let it forget what He did here. Our call and challenge is to not fail to carry out our mandate - so that the world will know!

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