My Pastor recently completed a four week, chapter by chapter, sermon series on the Book of Ruth and its main theme: the concept of being redeemed. He started the last sermon with a story he had come across, which was very appropriate for introducing the final chapter. I found it to be very edifying, so I wanted to share it. (I am paraphrasing):
“There was a boy who had painstakingly built a model sailboat. He had spent many days and weeks building it. When it was finally completed he had decided that he would test it out on the open water, close to where he lived.
The boy loved the boat. He was very proud of what he had built.
So, he went down to the water. First, he made sure that the sails were set just right. Then, he excitedly placed the boat into the water, with the greatest of anticipation. He gave it a gentile push, and it took off.
The wind caught the sails! The boat cut through the water much better than expected. What a sight! The boat skimmed along so smoothly.
But then, unexpectedly, before the boy realized what was happening, the sailboat just kept going.
It didn’t stop.
He hoped that the wind would shift. But, it didn’t. The sailboat started to rapidly go off into the distance. The boy quickly waded into the water after it with the hope of catching up to it, but it had gone out to far. The water was getting too deep. The boat faded off into the distance… and disappeared.
It was gone.
When he had gotten home, crying, his mother asked, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong? Didn’t it work?” The boy replied, “No, it actually worked to well… It sailed away.”
Sometime later, the boy was walking downtown. He passed a second hand store. And there, in the window, he saw the sailboat that he had labored to build. He went into the store, and went up to the sailboat. He picked it up and he said to the store owner, “This boat is mine!” He held it in his arms and began to walk out of the store.
The owner, of course said, “Wait a minute now. It’s my boat! I paid someone for it.” The boy said, “No, no, no. It’s my boat, I made it! Look at the little scratches I did… Here’s my initials on the bottom.” The owner said, “I’m sorry, sonny. If you want it, you’re going to have to pay for it.”
The poor little guy didn’t have any money with him. So, he went home to see what odd jobs he could do in order to earn enough money to purchase back the sailboat.
The boy worked hard. He saved his pennies. And one day, he had enough money. The boy went back to the store and bought back his boat.
As he left the store, holding the sailboat close to his chest, the boy could be heard saying, “You’re my boat. You’re twice my boat. First, you’re my boat because I made you. Second, you’re my boat because I bought you.”
You can see in the story, this little boy loved his boat. He had an affection for his boat. He very easily could have left the boat in the store and gone home, and built another one. But, he chose to redeem that one . He created it, and he chose to do whatever was necessary to buy it back.
When it comes down to it, we are an awful like that toy sailboat. We have all been carried away from our Creator, by sin. And we desperately need someone… to redeem us.”
I leave you, brothers and sisters, with these encouraging words from Paul, which he wrote to Titus:
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
Godspeed, to the brethren!