Home > Archives > The Bible Says >
Salvation from a Dory
Beached boats
Photo: Simon Doesburg
As a boy growing up in Creston South, Newfoundland, we did not have any commercial amusements, but we enjoyed the local events that took place in our town. Many of these events centered around the activities that were offered by the churches. In addition to the weekend services, there were open air song services, Christmas plays and Easter pageants, as well as bazaars.

The event that was perhaps most attended by the community was an event that took place in August. A local church would conduct its annual baptism for people who wished to join their church. They did not have an indoor baptistery at the time so they waited for summer and conducted the service outside on the shores of a lovely beach on an inlet by the ocean.

The scene is still vivid in my mind. The beautiful beach, the calm ocean water, the beaches lined with people straining to get a good view of the baptism. Many people from the community would attend the event in their boats. Almost everyone had a boat which afforded a great view from a close-up position.

One More Passenger

While most of my family viewed the event from the shore, my father and I rowed out in our dory. We positioned ourselves for a great view. We were no sooner in place than a gentleman from the shore beckoned to us to come to him. My father rowed to shore to see what the man wanted. He told us that he was a reporter for the Marystown paper and he was wondering if we might take him out in the boat so that he could get some pictures. My father agreed and so we had a passenger. He was a pleasant man and he shared several stories with us.

Soon the baptism began. The minister played the accordion and people sang hymns from the shore. We saw the candidates line up on the shore in their blue robes. We were anxious to see who was being baptized this year, for we knew almost everyone in our town by name. The reporter asked my father on several occasions to move the dory for a better view or a different angle from which to get his pictures.

The baptism lasted most of the afternoon and was an exciting event for a five-year-old boy, although my father, it seems, spent most of his time rowing the boat from place to place. Soon it was time for the reporter to be returned to shore. As he stepped out of the boat onto the shore, he thanked my father for his kindness and reached into his wallet and took out a five dollar bill and handed it to me to keep. I could not believe my good fortune. I can assure you that in 1963, five dollars was a great deal of money for a five-year-old to have in his possession. Those were the days when five cents could buy a bag of potato chips or a chocolate bar. Thereafter, it was a joke between my father and I that he did all the work and I got paid for it.

I have often reflected on this incident in my childhood in reference to salvation. The receiving of the five dollars for work that I did not do is akin to receiving salvation from God for work that I did no render. I simply accepted a ride with my father. He did all the work and I reaped all the rewards—that’s a pretty good deal. Paul says as much about God in Ephesians 2:8, 9. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Jesus has done all the work for us; lived the sinless life, offered the sacrifice and died on our behalf. He provides the gift of salvation and invites us to step into the boat with Him. He will do the rowing but he leaves the choice of getting in with us. What a deal—it doesn’t get any better!

Respond to this article

By Gary Hodder. Reprinted with persmission from Canadian Adventist Messenger, June 2006. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

SiteMap. Powered by SimpleUpdates.com © 2002-2016. User Login / Customize.