Thursday, February 15, 2007

Be a vessel

Years ago I was in the Navy.  I crossed the Atlantic and spent half a year in various ports around the Mediterranean.  Our mission at sea was to protect the large aircraft carriers we steamed with from possible submarine attack.  When we were in port we had a chance to see several very different cultures, ranging from relatively primitive and ancient Turkey to Italy, Spain, Germany, France and even Norway.  We met many different kinds of people, speaking different languages and exhibiting distinctly different cultures, food, cars, and appearances.  I suppose our mission in port was to avoid tarnishing the image of the U.S. Navy when we went out in public.  A ship is also known as a "vessel".  Vessels can be important for the cargo they carry and for the mission they are charged with.  Another kind of vessel is a blood vessel, like a vein or artery.  It is important because through those vessels flow the nutrients our bodies need for life.  It occurred to me that we represent both kinds of vessel.  As lovers of Jesus, we carry His spirit and presence wherever we go and our mission is to reach all kinds of people with the Good News of salvation and new life in Christ.  Like blood vessels for Christ, we are a means by which He can pour new life through us, to restore and give health to us and to those all around.  In a way, we become "life-bearers" to others.
Isaiah 66:20 And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the LORD -on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels," says the LORD. "They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the LORD in ceremonially clean vessels.
Rob Smith

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