Once long ago and far away, I met a Stranger on a dusty road.
He carried, it seems, neither satchel nor an archaic gleaming sword.
And on that road, all journeying strangers upon its harsh soil
Approached its secret shadows with caution and counsel.
For this, did you not know, was BANDIT COUNTRY?
Then He, that sincere Stranger,
Invited me, an outsider,
To join Him and friends for a welcome breakfast,
Of warm bread and fresh fruit.
And at that morning meal
Those disciples of His I recall,
Spoke their designated name
To me a stranger with no recall of any name!
I still recall those enduring names told to me that morn:
The brothers, Andrew and Peter, newly named Fishers of Men.
The tall sons of Zebedee, always known as James and John and
Of him known as the beloved – that was John.
Only he of them all would never wear the coveted martyrs crown!
But each of those chosen men in the concealing vapour.
Of that morning mist, offered to me a dissenting intruder,
The diligent sound of a distant trumpet that would forever
Fluctuate around a world, hostile and hateful of His saving prayer.
And these were His disciples:
Bartholomew: Perhaps in India he preached, by a cruel knife his skin was flayed.
Andrew: By cruel crucifixion, it is said, the first of the chosen met his noble end.
Philip: Crucified possibly on Mars Hill? When death preserved Philip; his heart waxed still.
Thomas (Didymus): On the Indian mainland, Thomas expired in the Lord’s work, it is claimed!
Matthew (Levi): When martyred in maybe Russia or Iran, Matthew embraced that final execution!
Simon (the Zealot): In Egypt, he preached, There in faith he perished.
John: Not for John the sentence of a sudden death blow, but the gentle demise of old age. This did his Lord once promise and faithfully allow.
Thaddaeus (Jude): Perhaps in Beirut’s bedecked city, by a cutting axe he greeted mortality.
James (the less): For his belief in Christ, stoning and beating offered him eternal rest.
James (the greater): By a cruel order of Herod, James was put to the sword (Acts 12:2.)
Peter (Simon): And Peters final breath would earn for him a martyrs wreath.
And Judas from Iscariot??? What of his timeless fate? (He) fell that he might go to his own place (Acts 1:25 – it is written.)
And so grew they daily in His firm foundation!
In the meadows of my mind, I still recall that bygone morning, I suppose I always will. For in silence do we not dream?
But what of that splendid Stranger on that pithy road?
He was, did you not know, the Saviour of the World!
Only now can I appreciate He was the Appointed One!
The Anointed One!
And for one brief moment in eternity, He offered to me,
An eternal gift that I might witness and promote,
Jesus the King of kings & Lord of lords,
Who once long ago on a remote road,
Searched for the unredeemed,
Who would through His precious sacrifice forever be saved!
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