I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. (John 12:47 NRSV)

Don Webb, president emeritus of Centenary College, was born in Wales and served in the British Navy before coming to America to begin his ministry. He was proud to be named captain of H.M.S. Switha. He wanted to impress the crew with how wise and brave he was. Their first assignment was to check the anchors that held the buoys in place, and the only way to do this was to send down a deep sea diver. Don Webb was told that the previous captain always liked to go down first.

The only problem was that Don Webb had never gone deep sea diving and didn't know the first thing about it. He was unable to admit his inadequacy and ask for help. He told his crew, "Of course, I want to go down first--wouldn't have it any other way!" Don was actually scared to death as he put on the heavy suit, the thick gloves, the leaded shoes, and the helmet. He jumped overboard and slowly sank to the ocean floor. On the ocean floor he realized that he did not know how to walk. He panicked and fell forward, face down in the mud, and worst of all he let go of the life line. He remembered what his men had said, "Whatever you do Cap'n, don't let go of this. If you need help, just give her a tug!"

There he was lying on the ocean floor, stuck, unable to move. "This is it!" he thought to himself. "This is how it all ends." After several minutes which must have seemed like an eternity, Don Webb felt a gentle touch on his shoulder. The crew sensed that he had lost his life line and was in trouble. An experienced diver came down to save him--to pick him up, to unstick him from the mud, to give back his life line, to show him how to walk and survive.

Jesus has also rescued us, giving us new life.

God of life, thank you for the new life I have in Jesus Christ. In Jesus name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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