Just Thinking!

by Dr. Steven J. Callis

Just Thinking: Today is January 17.  Among the celebrative events in history, the cartoon character Popeye made his debut on this date in 1929,  Kids have loved spinach ever since!  Well, maybe not.  Also on this date in 1773, British explorer and Royal Navy Captain James Cook became the first person to cross the Antarctic Circle.  This was accomplished on the second of 3 major voyages from Britain to the Pacific Ocean. 

In three voyages Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and on a scale not previously achieved. As he progressed on his voyages of discovery he surveyed and named features, and recorded islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. He displayed a combination of seamanship, superior surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage and an ability to lead men in adverse conditions. (Wikipeida)

I recall another explorer of sorts, a missionary named Paul, who made 3 major journeys, opening the way for Christianity to peoples who had not heard the Good News.  Like Cook, he devoted himself wholehearted to the cause and ultimately was killed for his endeavors.  Paul’s leadership, influence and legacy led to the formation of communities dominated by Gentile groups that worshiped the God of Israel.  Thirteen of the 26 New Testament books are attributed to the authorship of Paul.

Of course, there has never been so great a pioneer as Jesus Christ, the author and finisher (perfecter) of our faith. I will elaborate on that 2 or 3 Sundays from now to conclude our Liquid Faith preaching series.  I am not really a history “buff,” but I cannot help but wonder where we would be without the pioneering efforts of those who open the way for a better life. 

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