Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 July 2018 Matthew 18:11.

Matthew 18:11.   For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Oh friends, I had intended to begin with a light hearted opening about going to bed late and getting up late, because that’s what happened to me last night, and put forward some joyful stuff. But our world and our God moves in such mysterious ways that when I opened my e-mail a short while ago, I got some sad news, and now the Bit is now going to be turned into a remembrance for my dear departed friend and brother, Finbar Sebro. 

Oh yes, he was the closest thing I had to a practical brother while growing up in Darrell Spring, though we were not related. I remember him coming down from the country, Castara, and living with his bachelor uncle just down the street from me. My mother Molly cooked for him and he spent more time at our place than at his. 

I remember arguing with my mother about her treating him better than me sometimes. But she always said that was for me, like money in the bank, someday somebody would treat me well too. And it has certainly happened many times over the years. 

One interesting aspect of Finbar and my relationship is when we were prefects in the higher grades in Bishop’s High School, with authority over the lower classes, my mother packed lunch for us in a series of carriers, but neither of us wanted to carry it to school, through both laziness and pride. (smile) 

We already had our books to carry, and who wanted to be seen walking around in our exalted position as prefects, with a bag that everybody knew had food in it. But come lunchtime we couldn’t wait to dive into it. (smile) Taking it home after school was just as bad, especially when Finbar began walking home with his high school sweetheart and eventual wife, Joan. Sometimes we’d even intimidate some youngster living in our area to take it home for us. 

Finbar was always more studious than me, and when I’d be out and about gallivanting, he’d be at home studying. And that discipline certainly paid off as he eventually became the principal of our Alma Mater, Bishop’s High. What a way to go mih brother! 

The last time I saw him was the early part of 2016 when I was in Tobago. Like me, the Lord had called him to do His work and he had become a lay preacher in his Methodist faith. He read the Bit and couldn’t figure out how I could do it day after day. We laughed at the fact at what we were when we were young, compared to how the Lord was using us in our later years. 

Recently I heard that he’d been very ill, but I spoke to him on the phone some four or five weeks ago, and it seemed like he was getting better. Chuh! I expected to meet up with him when I went to Tobago next winter. However, the Lord was apparently ready to take him home. And that sometimes is a much better option to suffering here on earth. Rest in peace Finbar, mih brother! 

And as the tears well up in my eyes, and I can’t go to Tobago to wish you a last farewell because of my own medical problems, I know that one day we will meet again in the sweet bye and bye and will be able to reminisce, without any pain or sorrow about our good lives here on earth. Much LOVE my friend! 

And to you Joan, and his family, my deepest condolences, for you know how dear he was to me. And believe you me friends, I don’t feel like writing the workingman’s song this morning, so let’s just get to our Friday Chant, that hopefully will elevate my spirit some. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, though it hurts to see our friends and family go, it is indeed reassuring to know that they are going to a better life than this one, because of Jesus ‘ selfless work on our behalf. As He says in our Bit for yet another day: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ And is it ever true, and are we ever thankful! 

And Jesus made that clear on more than one occasion. Listen to Him as he rebuked the disciples who wanted to call down fire and brimstone on a Samaritan village that refused to welcome them. (Luke 9:51-54) ‘But He (Jesus) turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.’ (Luke 9:55-56) 

He said the same thing when He went to have lunch at the tax collector Zaccheus’ house and everybody derided Him for eating with such a terrible sinner. But Zaccheus repented of his evil ways. ‘And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10) 

And the scholars tell us: ’19:10. The words seek, save, and lost all appear elsewhere in Scripture in a shepherd context. This verse may be taken as a kernel statement of the central theme of Luke: Jesus is the compassionate, searching Herdsman who seeks to save those who can by no means save themselves.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth of truths! We can’t save ourselves so we need somebody else to do it for us; His name is Jesus! 

And we’ll close today, most appropriately, with some of the most profound, if not the most important words in the Good Book: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ And so should we my people for His mercy, grace and forgiveness towards us a most sinful bunch of ingrates! Much LOVE!

…the lost cannot be saved…until they realize that they are lost…


 

 

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