Published 11:00 am Sunday, June 2, 2024

Hi, all. Just a thought.

I remember as a child being fascinated with characters such as John Wilkes Booth and the brothers Frank and Jesse James. It wasn’t at all that I admired their criminal nature or the terrible acts they performed. I was more intrigued with the “why” of it all. And what would make a human being act in such a manner as they did?

The short answer to it all is one word — sin.

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As a young boy, I stood with my family one day on the sidewalk in downtown Corinth, Mississippi, where I grew up. We were there with many other people, in front of the old bank building, to watch a reenactment of the day in 1874 that Frank and Jesse James rode into town and robbed that bank. As we watched, up the street came these two men in their cowboy-looking attire, riding quickly on their horses. There was a lot of pomp and circumstance to the reenactment that I’m not sure actually happened, but nevertheless, it was fascinating (fun) to watch.

Here you see a recreation of a wanted poster featuring both of those James brothers, whom I’ve discovered through the years are actually distant cousins of mine. Two brothers, with the same preacher father, and after their father’s death, later step-sons of a cruel man.

Frank and Jesse were just boys who became just men. Then those men became outlaws. Outlaws that were “Wanted Dead or Alive.” They reached the point that their lives were so disruptive, and their actions were so criminal, that the authorities didn’t care whether they lived or died, as long as they were caught.

We who are all Christian brothers and sisters have the same eternal Father, and we are also “Wanted.” The difference for us is that He wants us Alive! The word “Dead” implies that we are dead in our sins, we don’t know the Savior, and we are bound for a cruel destiny in a terrible place called Hell. Those who have been made Alive in Him are promised a tomorrow that is filled with grace, peace, and love that we have never known.

What a world this would be if we stopped and stood to watch the good things that happen all around us! What a day that will be when we gather to celebrate the Love that has beat out sin in this old world.

This week, you are most certainly “Wanted.” It’s up to you whether you surrender to His authority, or whether you continue running.

Just a thought.