The Rock

The Rock

In San Francisco Bay, USA, an abandoned prison sits on Alcatraz Island.

Its prisoners called it, “The Rock”. Whitely Thompson was a “hardened criminal”. He grew up in an abusive home. He ran away. Whitey seemed to have no future. After a failed bank robbery. Whitey was sent to jail, where he fought with guards and others prisoners. Being sent to “The Rock” seemed logical. It was the end of the line for those considered to be hopeless criminals.

Ironically, Whitely's life turned around at Alcatraz. Whitely began to think about his future. Which led him to find hope in Jesus.

Instead of killing time, he learned new skills, including painting. He painted beautiful landscapes. Guards, prisoners and visitors admired his art.

Whitely was released directly from Alcatraz to the streets. It easy to looking towards the future and to build a new life. But Whitely finds strength in Jesus.

Now Whitely can return to Alcatraz as a guest of the National Park Service, which runs the former prison as a tourist attraction. His eyes twinkle when twinkle when tourists ask how he survived. “ Here I was on The Rock,” he says. “Now I've found the true Rock.”

The future lies in Jesus . In Matthew 24:36-44, read Jesus’ promise to return. This promise not only gives hope for the future , but also a reason for living today, as Whitely discovered.

Bible Text
Matthew 24:36-44

36KJV:But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37KJV:But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38KJV:For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39KJV:And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40KJV:Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41KJV:Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42KJV:Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43KJV:But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44KJV:Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45KJV:Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46KJV:Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Questions to Consider
  • What did Whitely discover in Jesus to help find hope for his future.
  • How does knowing that Christ will return affect your view of your future?

Motion Points
  • Making a list of the things you want to achieve. Keep the scripture in mind. If Jesus came tomorrow would you be ready?
  • Telling a cynical friend about the hope for the future you have in Jesus .

Amazing Fact
The Gospel of Luke is longest New Testament book , with 1,151 verses. And the book of Acts which Luke also wrote -is not gar behind. Since Luke was a doctor, a simple prescription probably took reams of paper!

Further Study
  • Psalm 33:13-22
  • Luke 12:35-40
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Hymn for Today
All Creatures are of God and King ( Saint Francis of Assisi )

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam,

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rushing morn in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening find a voice,

Thou flowing water pure and clear
Make music for Thy Lord to hear
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright
That givest man both warmth and light,

All ye men of tender heart
Forgiving others take your part
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care

Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness.
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
And praise the Spirit, Three in One