Nearing Home.

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.” Psalm 67:1-2

I’ve been re-reading the book ‘Nearing Home’ by Billy Graham partly because I wanted to read it again and see how it impacted me since I am a five years older than when I last read it and also because I found that it was a wonderful book to read as your journey, like my journey, will come to a close one day.  There was a story about Dr. Graham in which he shared a memory about Albert Einstein with his publicist in 2000 and I would like to share that with you today.  "I'm reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century.  Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger.  When he came to Einstein, he reached in his vest pocket.  He couldn't find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets.  It wasn't there.  He looked in his briefcase but couldn't find it.  Then he looked in the seat beside him.  He still couldn't find it.  The conductor said, 'Dr. Einstein, I know who you are.  We all know who you are.  I'm sure you bought a ticket. Don't worry about it.'  Einstein nodded appreciatively.  The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets.  As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.  The conductor rushed back and said, 'Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don't worry, I know who you are; no problem.  You don't need a ticket.  I'm sure you bought one.' Einstein looked at him and said, 'Young man, I too, know who I am.  What I don't know is where I'm going.'  The children in the attached photo attend a Lutheran School located in Gonaives; their tickets have been punched and thankfully they know where they are going and are reminded every day they are in school and in prayer.  They live in a place where many of their neighbors follow the drums of the vodou priest and recruit souls for satan.  Too many in our world aren’t sure where they are going.  Thank you for sharing the message of our Savior through your prayers and gifts.  I close today with the words to the hymn ‘May God bestow on us His Grace’ that was written by Martin Luther in 1524.

“May God bestow on us His grace, with blessings rich provide us, and may the brightness of His face to life eternal guide us that we His saving health may know, His gracious will and pleasure, and also to the heathen show Christ's riches without measure and unto God convert them.  Thine over all shall be the praise and thanks of every nation, and all the world with joy shall raise the voice of exultation; for Thou shalt judge the earth, O Lord, nor suffer sin to flourish; Thy people's pasture is Thy Word their souls to feed and nourish, in righteous paths to keep them.  Oh, let the people praise Thy worth, in all good works increasing; the land shall plenteous fruit bring forth, Thy Word is rich in blessing.  May God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit bless us!  Let all the world praise Him alone, let solemn awe possess us.”

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

May God be with you…Jay