And so they pressed around Him for to hear
of God. (Lk. 5:1)
his reminds me of mail call. Everyone who was ever
away from home in the military knows how important “Mail Call” was to a
soldier. In the days before the internet and email, before the easy access
of cell phones, the humble hand-delivered envelope passed out at “Mail-Call”
was the only link to loved ones far away.
The cry of “Mail Call” in basic training drew a crowd
of homesick soldiers craning their necks to see the pile or handful of
letters that might contain news from home, words of love, or a word of
Some letters were enveloped as much with perfume as
they were with paper. Such an aroma would often trigger a flurry of hoots
and hollers and good-natured laughter. Sometimes the sight of little hearts
or X’s drawn on the outside were a teasing prelude to romantic words on the
inside, and these hieroglyphics of love would also cause a stir.
Everyone was interested in “news from home.” These
moments would remind us that there was “another world” beside the difficult
one we were in at the moment. Millions of soldiers and sailors “gone off to
war” have known the emotions stirred up by the announcement that mail had
arrived and what we knew as “Mail Call.”
People pressed around Jesus to “hear the word of God.”
There is something about the Word of God that still draws people. The Word
of God reminds us that there is “another” world and that this world is not
our home. There is something about the Word of God that reminds us that we
are not forgotten and that we are loved. There is something about hearing
the Word of God that is like Mail-Call. There are times when there is a
word for us personally. There are times when the preacher delivers the Word
like someone reading the headlines and articles from a newspaper printed in
heaven, far away. There are other times when hearing God’s Word is like
getting a personal message addressed to us. It’s news from home.
GIs never missed Mail-Call if they could help it.
Likewise, those in love with God open the Bible every day as if they are
about to receive a wonderful word from their home in heaven, written by
God’s own hand.