Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blessed By Susan Boyle

“Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; He did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: ‘I will open My mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.’” (Matthew 13:34-35)

On the same Resurrection Sunday that the brave, self-sacrificing American captain of a benevolence ship was rescued from the pirates, the attention of all nations turned to a humble Scottish maiden with a heavenly voice.

Four weeks and 200,000,000 global internet views later, tearful observers worldwide are still moved to express their reactions to Susan Boyle. Prominent among the comments are words like these: God-given, voice of an angel, sent by God, God bless you, and hope.

Across the Atlantic in Russian Jewish Brooklyn, the Russian-language media have devoted much attention to Miss Boyle, and the tears flow past the language barrier. Like many of us, immigrants embrace her heart-rending courage to confide her dream and offer her gift to mockers. They rejoice in her vindication and hope for their own. And somehow, through this simple story with a deeper meaning, they begin to believe that there is a Living God Who really cares, Who really gives new life out of the grave.

“Now the tax collectors and ‘sinners’ were all gathering around to hear Him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?’” (Luke 15:1-4)

Jesus told parables that pierced the hearts and minds of listeners, imparting vital truth about God, His character and His Kingdom. What a paradox, that Jesus should use the mundane as His best way to teach the transcendent principles of the Holy One. But even twenty centuries later, even in closed countries (including the Former Soviet Union in its time), parables such as the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son are known by people who know little else of the Living God or the Bible. And these parables instill a yearning for Someone to fulfill them.

More and more people worldwide are now sensing a finality, and somehow a spiritual quality, to much that is happening. Events and individuals seem to illustrate something more, something significant beyond themselves. That the unpretentious life-weary Susan Boyle should emerge from her village to seize control of the global internet (while not even owning a computer or cell phone) leads many to consider that God is profoundly at work to win hearts, that multitudes may know in a moment, even through the merest of instruments – even through Last Days parables.

“‘But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him: he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”’” (Luke 15:20b-24a)

We deeply appreciate your prayers and steady support as we reach out each month to hundreds of Russian-speaking Jews, Muslims, Russians and others through our English/Bible classes, computer, citizenship and sewing classes, home school support, Shabbat and holy day celebrations, media and street evangelism, and other Gospel-saturated works – along with our partner ministries. Please pray for many to enter in to His story for all time, through faith in Jesus. Do pray also for Susan Boyle and others like her, that He will bless them with fullness of joy.

“‘In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’” (Luke 15:10)

Susan Boyle, I Dreamed A Dream