You are a castaway. Shipwrecked and alone, you awaken, only to find yourself suffering from amnesia. Slowly you being to walk. There, on the beach, are scattered a large number of bottles with messages in them. You open the first bottle and begin to read...
So lives the main character in Walker Percy's short story, "The Message In The Bottle." But as the hero reads, he finds not all messages are the same.
One states, "Water boils at 100 degrees C at sea level." All bottles similar to this one he calls information.
One states "There is fresh water in the next cove." This he calls news: It is vital and relevant to life. Obviously, he prefers news over information.
But even news he discovers comes in two categories: island news and news from across the sea. Island news is helpful to anyone who lives on the island, but how his heart leaps when he finds news from across the sea. There is the real treasure.
News from across the sea are messages that help reveal who he is and what home is like and how to get back home. It is true wealth, indeed.
Percy's story is a story about you. Do not imagine you are a castaway. You are a castaway. It is also a story about the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. For it is good news -- good news from across the sea. It speaks to you about who you are and who you are meant to be. It tells you of home and draws maps of the journey ahead.
Has information and the obsessive search for it got you bogged down? Are you overloaded, overwhelmed and weary? Then there is no better time than this Easter season to open a new bottle.
Grab a Bible. Stop by a worship service. Go to an Easter play or musical.
There you may discover true treasure. There your heart may find its desire. For it is not information or even relevant island news that your soul longs for in the dark of the night. You thirst for news from across the sea.
Rick Cupp is the minister at Kenai Fellowship Church. Sunday Bible classes are at 10 a.m. Coffee and fellowship are held at 10:45 a.m., and worship is at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday Bible classes and worship are at 7 p.m.
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