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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)

TITLE: Octomom Evangelism
By Bill Mellen
08/25/09


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“It’s a girl!” As an eagerly expecting first-time father, those three words elicited both unspeakable delight and paralyzing fear. The long anticipated day had finally arrived – my daughter’s journey though life had begun. Birth is perhaps the most universally celebrated event. From this dad who proudly distributed pink, candy cigars to complete strangers in the hospital waiting room, to the Guban Tribe crier who “announces birth and claims for the child a name and place among the living”[1], virtually every culture and society has some tradition to punctuate this rite of passage into the world.

Without a doubt, the most renowned and influential birth was that of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ child. So remarkable indeed that, “on our calendars, His birth divides history into two eras.”[2] As H. G. Wells rightly remarked, “No man can write a history of the human race without giving first and foremost place to the penniless teacher of Nazareth.”[3] Nevertheless, one may find it odd that Christ urged His followers to ponder not his birth, but rather his death. On the night of His betrayal, during what became known as the Last Supper, Jesus instructed His disciples to perpetually remember his broken body and shed blood, not the manger. For, it’s the broken body of Christ that bled on a Roman cross to make the forgiveness of sin and conception of spiritual rebirth possible for mankind – “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them. . .”(2 Cor 5:19; NKJV) So then, as miraculous as physical birth (virgin or otherwise) is, it pales in comparison with the marvel of spiritual rebirth. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”(2 Cor 5:17; NKJV)

Just as we have the awesome privilege and humbling responsibility of participating in the creation of physical life, God has also commissioned every believer to partake in the proliferation of spiritual rebirth among the lost. In January of 2009, Nadya Suleman made international headlines as she gave birth to longest-surviving set of octuplets, becoming notoriously dubbed the “Octomom”. This unprecedented feat was generally perceived by most as obscenely excessive, even by today’s “super-size-it” standards. Yet, equally obscene is the fact that many Christians today cannot name eight people with whom they have shared their faith. Sadly, more often than not, the simple fear of being caught in an awkward social moment keeps us silent. All the while, Satan rejoices at each aborted attempt to lead others to spiritual rebirth.

Over the course of 14 centuries, the Bubonic Plague was responsible for more than 200 million deaths worldwide.[4] Finally, in 1894, French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin uncovered the pathogen responsible for the plague. Positive identification of this malignant organism, named Yersinia Pestis in Yersin’s honor, opened the door for a targeted cure.[5] But suppose Yersin had kept his discovery to himself? Instead of lauded a hero, he would’ve surely been credited with one of the most atrocious crimes against humanity. Though, as purveyors of the Gospel, we too possess positive identification of a pathogen (sin) and have first-hand knowledge of the cure (Christ) to a more lethal plague (death) that afflicts every man, woman and child. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 6:27; NKJV) How then can we remain silent? Let us, therefore, strive with boldness to “endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.”(1 Cor 9:12b; NKJV) And just perhaps, by allowing daring to eclipse dread, we will someday make headlines in the heavenlies as we attain “Octo-soul” status and beyond. So, as the Lord implored the Apostle Paul, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent.”(Acts 18:9; NKJV)

“Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.”(John 4:35b-36; NKJV)


Endnotes

[1] Sue Curewitz Arthen, “Celebration of Birth” [paper on-line]; available from http://www.earthspirit.com/fireheart/fhcob.html; Internet; accessed 24 August 2009.

[2] “Jesus Christ’s Effect on History” [article on-line]; available from http://www.why-jesus.com/history.htm; Internet; accessed 24 August 2009.

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Bubonic plague” [article on-line]; available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubonic_plague; Internet; accessed 24 August 2009.

[5] “Alexandre Yersin” [article on-line]; available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandre_Yersin; Internet; accessed 24 August 2009.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Mull 08/27/09
This is really a great study. A lot of insight into the scriptures. Good job.
Yvonne Blake 08/28/09
Wow..you have a lot of facts in this! It might help to focus on one point and develop it a little more. Keep writing.