Captain Augustus McCrae once said of his friend Joshua Deets that “He wasn’t one to quit on a garment just because it had a little age.” I love that about Deets. There is something redeeming about a man sticking with a favorite garment even if it is weathered by the passage of time. Deets shirts may have been dusty and even dotted with a few thread-bare holes or patches, but they were his. Each rip told a different story of adventure on the open prairie. Each blood stain a reminder of his personal sacrifice to work as a Texas Ranger (think Walker, not Josh Hamilton.)
Joshua Deets (or as his name on the Hat Creek Cattle Company sign read, “Deets, Joshua”) was an iconic fictional character from Larry McMurtry’s epic “Lonesome Dove.” Though Deets was not a real person, I am sure that there were many people like Deets who rode in the American West during the 1800’s.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I am afraid my utter fascination with “Lonesome Dove” leads me to see parallels between this story and Scripture all the time. I realize that this story was first told 25 years ago, and many of you reading this have zero connection to or knowledge of this story. If you don’t get this, I am sorry, but, since I have this blog space and the opportunity to preach at Wildwood, you will occasionally be subjected to my somewhat forced associations. I hope you will learn to deal with it (and me) graciously. 🙂 Now, back to the story.
Last week, we began a 3 week series at Wildwood entitled “Hope Restored.” In this series we are looking at the life of the Apostle Peter during the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection. Over a 30 day period, Peter went from hopeless to having His hope restored. Last week we looked at the events that transpired that left Peter hopeless. In one terrible day, Peter fell asleep when Jesus asked him to pray, cut off Malchus’s ear when Jesus was ready to be taken captive, denied Jesus 3 times when given an opportunity to stand with His Lord/friend, and seen the One He had pinned his hopes to killed and buried in a borrowed tomb. Given the scope of these events, Peter ended that day presumably without hope in the world and weeping bitterly. However, we know there is more to the story. After 3 days, Jesus rose from the dead! More than just Jesus’ body resurrected that day, however, Peter (and our) hope resurrected as well! Our hope is restored because of Him.
This week we will continue to see the reason for Peter (and our) resurrected hope as we look at John 21:1-19. This key New Testament passage helps us answer the question, “How much hope can imperfect people have for purpose in this life?” I believe the answer we will see is reminiscent of Joshua Deets. Jesus is not one to quit on His people just because we have a little age. I look forward to seeing you at Wildwood this Sunday in either our 9:30 or 10:50 services.
Two final thoughts:
- As we begin 2011 together as a church family, consider inviting someone to church with you this Sunday.
- If you have thoughts about this passage, last Sunday’s sermon, (or you just also like Lonesome Dove 🙂 ), feel free to comment on this post between now and Sunday. I look forward to dialoguing with you on this truth.