TITLE: Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit
DATE: December 14, 2018
TEXT:- 1 John 4:9 - ESV-In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
If you go to Bolivia, and if you look very hard, and if you are very lucky, you may encounter a person who says he is a Toromonan, or a Yanaiquan, or a Yuqui. If the names sound unfamiliar it is because these tribes are some of the few groups in this world who remain relatively untouched by the benefits, and curses, of civilization.
This means they can be listed among the few people in this world who don’t know Mickey Mouse.
No doubt you, having seen Mickey’s movies, having bought his paraphernalia, having vacationed at his parks are most familiar with the favorite brain-child of Walt Disney. Listed among the most “recognizable individuals” in the world, this year Mickey has celebrated his 90th birthday.
Okay, so you know Mickey… now tell me, “What do you know about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit?”
Well, if you’re drawing a blank, Oswald was also a Disney creation… but Oswald was one who was in theaters before Mickey. Sadly, there was a revolt among some of the artists who worked for Walt and they stole Oswald and took him to a different studio.
Most of the world forgot Oswald and seven of his cartoons were thought to be lost forever.
Well, not so. 70-years-ago a Japanese teenager, Yasushi Watanabe, bought a cartoon for less than $5.00. For 70-years that film sat in his collection. And then, one day he read a book about the search for Disney’s lost films. That book described a lost film which had a plot very much like the one he had in storage. A few phone calls and he was positive: for 70-years he had kept one of Disney’s films locked away, unseen, unappreciated, undervalued.
The book he read permanently changed his life.
Now the reason I share Mr. Watanabe’s story with you is because I know more than one individual who is like Mr. Watanabe. You do, too. No, they don’t have a long-lost Disney film in their basement, but they do have something which they have locked away; something which is unseen, unappreciated and undervalued.
Of course, I am referring to the forgiveness and salvation which was won for them by their Savior.
2,000 years ago Jesus entered this world. True Man and True God, He was born in Bethlehem and lived His life doing for us all that we could not do for ourselves. With His words, “It is finished”, the work of redemption was completed and His third-day resurrection is the proof-positive that there is life and light for all who believe.
And that’s where the problem comes in. Jesus has died to save everyone, but not everyone is saved.
Millions upon millions refuse to look at the book which speaks about God’s gracious acts which save. As for Jesus, He is, to them a Person of no importance, Someone Who is forgotten, and Whose work is for earlier, more easily mislead generations. It is a sad decision because, left unchanged it will be a decision which will see them spending eternity in a place they don’t want to go.
Which explains why we who are already saved, consider it to be of paramount importance to remind them of Jesus, God’s good news of great joy.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, let me always be thankful for what Jesus has done. And when I can touch others use me to help people see the great gift Jesus has won for them. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written by the Editors of Newser on November 16, 2018 . Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: http://www.newser.com/story/267340/one-of-walt-disneys-earliest-films-found.html
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html