July 24, 2012
Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), the great African American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents, was fond of telling this story:
A ship, lost at sea in the Atlantic Ocean along the northern coast of South America for many days, suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel came the signals: "Water, water. We die of thirst." The answer from the friendly vessel came back at once: "Cast down your bucket where you are." A second time, the signal: "Water, send us water!" from the distressed vessel. And was answered again: "Cast down your bucket where you are." A third and fourth signal for water was again answered: "Cast down your bucket where you are." The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket. It came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River, which extends miles out into the ocean in what is called the "River Sea."
In this story a ship full of people had an urgent need for fresh water, and it was closer at hand than they knew. Our text this week overflows with needs as well....