I can’t stop talking about As Isaac, the three young Christian musicians from Chattanooga who recently toured the UK and Ireland with Meleah, their manager, who is also older sister to one of the three. I spent just over a day in their company and quickly discovered that there is something special about Meleah, Zachary, Rachel and Kristian. It was a blessing to be with them, and to get to know a little bit about how they came together as a group, and how God called them across the Atlantic for what they called the ‘Anchors Aweigh’ tour.
‘Anchor’s aweigh’ is a nautical term that I used many times in my seafaring days. The shout from the fo’c’sle head would be transmitted to the captain on the bridge of the ship to tell him that the anchor was clear of the seabed, and that the combined weight of anchor and cable was no longer a constraint to the ship leaving the anchorage or berth. In some cases, as in the photograph, the anchor was dropped on arrival for use in place of a tug to help manoeuvre a ship off a berth when sailing.
I’m not sure when the anchor’s aweigh moment came for As Isaac, but when Meleah first emailed me about a possible UK visit I contacted quite a number of people to ask if they could host As Isaac. Very few responded. My son Nick arranged for As Isaac to play at his church one Saturday evening, and for As Isaac to lead worship on the Sunday morning. Nick told me that people who were at church on the Sunday morning but had missed the Saturday evening wished they had come to both.
I will never forget As Isaac playing for us in our living room. After I posted a short clip on Facebook someone asked why As Isaac hadn’t played in our town. There had been the opportunity for As Isaac to play locally, but I received no timely response to my emails or conversations. While those who missed As Isaac in the UK can listen to their music on YouTube or purchase tracks on iTunes, this is no substitute for the experience of hearing them live. Sadly for the UK As Isaac have weighed anchor and gone home to the US, and folk who didn’t get to hear them have missed the boat!
Jesus spoke about time being short and the possibility of missing the boat. During his relatively brief period of ministry not everyone listened or responded. Many people rejected Jesus, just as they do now. Before Jesus ascended to Heaven He promised to come back. Despite Jesus not being with us in human form we still have the opportunity to listen to Him, to believe in Him, and to follow Him. However, Jesus made it clear that the door of opportunity will close when He returns as promised to gather all who have believed to Himself. The call to exercise faith in following Jesus now has eternal implications. Don’t let that ship weigh anchor and sail without you.
“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
“Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. (Matthew 24:37-44 NIV)