"Wake up! Wake up, Please!"

The still unfolding heartache of the capsized Korean ferry Sewol with its entombed teenage passengers has gripped the world. Reports of text messages and phone calls from some of the  high school students trapped inside the overturned and slowly sinking vessel (though many of the messages are now considered hoaxes) were fresh wounds in a nation mourning the numbing deaths of so many of its promising young. The anguished wail of one of the parents should haunt us all. CNN reported: “Boat after boat, body after body from a capsized South Korean ferry came ashore Sunday morning, a solemn process interrupted by piercing cries and screams from passengers’ kin. . . . After an inspection, [the bodies] were carried along a path guarded by police—who themselves shed tears—and past even more outwardly emotional family members. These relatives cried and, in some cases, yelled loudly, clearly overtaken by the moment. Some of those shouts came from inside the identification tent. One man yelled out, ‘Wake up! Wake up, please!’” (http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/19/world/asia/south-korea-ship-sinking/index.html?iref=allsearch) The image of that father weeping over the recovered body of his child, “Wake up! Wake up, please!”—how could we ever forget it? And yet it is—perhaps not for us, but for the Father of this world—an even more stunning  and urgent reality that an entire civilization today is entombed in a morally, spiritually capsized planet that will eventually slip beneath the cold waters of death. Unless they are rescued, tens of thousands of millions, even billions, will perish. Are you among the already rescued, among those men, women and children who have the blessed fortune of having been snatched from impending spiritual death? Shall we sit on the shoreline of this sinking planet, thanking our Savior for our own salvation, bemoaning those still entrapped, but doing nothing for their rescue? How could we sleep at night were we to actually hear the anguished cries from a planet that loses two of its inhabitants to death every single second? “Wake up! Wake up, please!” The bloody tree atop Calvary is a measure of the Love that loudly rejoices over every rescued soul, but mournfully weeps over every life unresponsive, reached too late. “Wake up! Wake up, please!” While this school year now ends, the unfolding tragedy of this sinking, perishing planet does not. “Rescue the perishing; don’t hesitate to step in and help. If you say, ‘Hey, that’s none of my business,’ will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know—Someone not impressed with weak excuses” (Proverbs 24:11, 12 The Message). Wherever this summer journey takes us, I pray it will somehow immerse you and me in Christ’s rescue mission. Because the good news is that “Wake up! Wake up, please!” can come true, and the entrapped can wake up and be rescued while there still is time. (If you would like to be part of our “rescue mission” to south Mexico July 17—August 4, call the church office [269.471.3134] for details on how to join the team.)