Get out of your chair!

There’s a true story from the 1920’s of a man who was walking along a pier in Massachusetts when he tripped over a rope and fell into the bay.

The man couldn’t swim, and as he thrashed about he shouted, “Help! I can’t swim!”

His friends, who were one pier over, heard his cries and ran as fast as they could to him, but when they finally reached him and pulled their friend out of the water, it was already too late.

The man had drowned.

During this incident, there was a young man on the same pier from which the drowned man had fallen, who had been sunbathing in a chair. He had seen the first man trip and fall into the water; he had heard the man’s cries for help. The observer, it was discovered later, was an excellent swimmer. But he only watched as the first man died.

The observer had never gotten out of his chair.

Outraged, the family of the drowned man sued the observer, and the case was heard before the Massachusetts supreme court which ruled, reluctantly, that the observer had no legal responsibility to save the drowning man’s life.

It’s easy for such a story to stir outrage in us as we read about someone so nonchalantly watching another person die, almost as if it were an entertainment. Yet, all around us, there are people who are drowning and dead in sin.

As Christians, we have the message that can bring dead people life.

What are you doing with that message? Sitting in your chair, or diving into the waters of the lost with the life-giving Good News of Jesus Christ?

Time to get out of your chair …