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The Word – Binds Us Together

These stories key on topics that are covered frequently by Christian speakers.

Illustration for Christian speaker.

Here’s a great story you might be able to use if you’re planning any
new teaching series focused on the Word. To me, it beautifully expresses how
the Word binds us all together in one body. It’s the language our fellowship
is based on and that language transcends all kinds of boundaries.

GOOD NEWS FROM A DISTANT LAND
Steven Mosley
A man from Holland called simply, Brother Andrew, had just
smuggled a load of Bibles in his VW across the Rumanian border. He
checked into a motel and began praying that God would lead him to
the right Christian groups–the ones who could best use his load of
Bibles.
On Sunday morning Andrew walked up to the hotel clerk and asked
where he might find a church.
The clerk looked at him a little strangely and answered, “We
don’t have many of those you know. Besides you couldn’t understand
the language.”
“Didn’t you know?” Andrew replied, “Christians speak a kind of
universal language.”
“Oh what’s that?”
“It’s called Agape.”
“Agape?” the clerk wondered. “I never heard of it.”
“Too bad,” Andrew replied, “It’s the most beautiful language in
the world.”
Well Andrew was able to locate several church groups in the
area and he managed to arrange a meeting with the president and
secretary of a certain denomination, we’ll call them James and
Leon. They sat down together in a small office. Andrew was eager
to tell them about the Bibles he had smuggled into the country. He
also wanted to find out something about the men and their churches.
But soon the three discovered that they couldn’t speak each others
languages.
The men knew several European languages, but none in common.
So there they sat staring at each other across the room. Andrew had
come thousands of dangerous miles in his little VW. He longed to
bring greetings and encouragement from Christians in the western
world to these brothers isolated behind the Iron Curtain. But how?
They couldn’t understand a word he said.
Then Andrew got an idea. He noticed James had a Bible on his
desk. Andrew reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a Dutch
Bible. He turned to I Corinthians 16:20 and held the Bible out,
pointing to the name of the book, which they could recognize.
Instantly their faces lit up. They quickly found the same chapter
and verse in their Rumanian Bibles and read this verse:

“All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another
with a holy kiss.” (I Cor. 16:20)

James and Leon beamed back at Andrew. Then James looked
through his Bible and found Proverbs 25:25. Andrew found the verse
and read:

“Like cold water to a weary soul
is good news from a distant land.”

By then all three were laughing together. Andrew responded by
turning to the book of Philemon. He pointed his brothers to verses
4 and 5. They read:

“I always thank God as I remember you in my prayers, because I
hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the
saints.”

The two Rumanians nodded, smiling. Then Leon’s eyes wondered
down to verse seven. He pushed the Bible over to Andrew, pointing
to these beautiful words:

“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because
you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

These three men had a wonderful time together. They spent half
an hour conversing and sharing—just through the words of
Scripture. They were so happy in their fellowship they laughed
until tears came to their eyes.
Finally Andrew showed his brothers the Bibles he had brought
for them. James and Leon were overwhelmed and overjoyed. They
embraced him again and again.
That evening when Andrew returned to his hotel, the clerk
approached him and remarked, “Say, I looked up agape in the
dictionary. There’s no language by that name. That’s just a Greek
word for love.”
Andrew replied, “That’s it. I was speaking in it all
afternoon.”
Adapted from “God’s Smuggler” by Brother Andrew in Steven Mosley’s book: “Great Stories and How to Tell Them.”

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