In 1979, the British rock band, Police, released a hit record titled, “Message in a Bottle.”  It’s about a lonely man searching for love. In his loneliness, he feels as if he is on a deserted island. So he sends out a message to the world. A message in a bottle. The hook of the song is, “Sending out an S.O.S.”  That phrase repeats many times at the end of the song.

There is something both romantic and exciting about casting adrift a bottle with a message inside it. Where it drifts ashore, who finds it, and when it’s found, is all part of the allurement. Messages have been put into bottles as far back as 310 B.C., when Greek philosopher Theophrastus used a “drift bottle” to test his theory that the Atlantic Ocean flowed into the Mediterranean Sea.

One of the most bizarre message-in-a-bottle story occurred in 1949 on a San Francisco beach. Jack Wurm, penniless and out of work found a bottle with a note inside it. The note read, “To avoid confusion, I leave my entire estate to the lucky person who finds this bottle and to my attorney, Barry Cohen. Share and share alike.”

The note’s author was Daisy Singer Alexander, heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Twelve years earlier, she threw it into London’s Thames River. Amazingly, it had drifted around the world carried by currents and winds and washed ashore on a California beach. The courts accepted it as the last will and testament of the heiress. Jack Wurm went from poverty to wealth because he had stumbled upon a message in a bottle.

Moving forward in the Police song, the man laments his bottle has been afloat for a year and no response. Then he says,  “Walked out this morning, I don’t believe what I saw. Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore. Seems I’m not alone at being alone. Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home.”

How true it is. So many spiritual castaways, walking spiritual broke on the beaches of the island of Sin. Searching for and waiting for rescue, but not knowing where their rescue will come from or what it will even look like.

The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels…”  The treasure he speaks of is the gospel message of redemption. He calls it in verse 6, “…the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

Keeping with the theme of these thoughts. We are the “bottles.”  We are the bottles with a message. A message of God’s light of glory found in Christ’s redemptive work.

Take your bottle with the glorious message of God’s rescue to those castaways on the deserted islands of sin. Those who open the bottle and accept its message will have an inheritance far greater than Jack Wurm received from Daisy Singer Alexander! Send God’s S.O.S. out today. Cast your bottle out on the seas. Are you sending out an S.O.S.? — Tom