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5/27/97 Moody urges BSSB employees to pass a well-carried baton

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Describing the Baptist Sunday School Board as “the largest, and, in my opinion, the best Bible-teaching agency on the face of the earth,” Jess Moody challenged employees to “hand a well-carried baton to the reaching fingers of our children and our children’s children.”
In a message during the celebration of the board’s 106th anniversary, Moody, a retired pastor and well-known speaker and writer now living in Mansfield, Texas, cited the important role of the board in helping Christians grow in their faith.
“Eight million people use your Bible study presentations every week. Yours are the best because you are the servant of all, attempting to make Christians launch out into the great waters instead of being about as deep as a parking lot puddle,” he said.
Quoting the poem, “High Flight,” by John Gillespie Magee Jr., Moody said, “I can truthfully attest that when I have dedicated my life to Christ Jesus, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and my soul has danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings. … And by Christ’s saving grace, I have reached out and touched the face of God.”
To ensure future generations know Jesus Christ as their Savior, he said the baton must be “handed well to the youth.”
Moody presented to BSSB President James T. Draper Jr. two official Olympic batons — “one for us and one for tomorrow.”
“And there they are dead ahead of us,” Moody said. “The young are waiting to see what we will do about all this. I can see them now.
“I see the youth of the 21st century,” he said. “They are set, ready to run, looking back at us, their hand reaching back for us to stretch and hand the baton we’ve been carrying.
“In the name of the Christ of God, let us hand a well-carried baton to the reaching fingers of our children and our children’s children so they may begin the great run down the chalkline lane, reaching out to the 22nd and 23rd and 24th centuries,” he continued.
In response, Draper said, “When we get tired, when it gets tough for us, we have the Holy Spirit within us — a reminder that we’ve been passed the baton and we must move forward to pass it on. That’s been our history. I pray it will be our legacy.
“The only debt we owe to the past is to leave the future indebted to us,” Draper concluded

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  • Linda Lawson