After weeks at sea, an early morning cry of “Land ho!” woke the ship’s late-risers. Peering through a spyglass, Victor stood next to the captain while the fellowship gathered round hoping for a better look. The sun burned the mist away revealing their destination. Someone muttered aloud, “What a god-forsaken place.”
“Dear fellow, it’s anything but God-forsaken,” the captain said a bit perturbed. “That’s my home you’re insulting. You’ll soon find out how blessed we are to live there.” With that he turned and gave the order, “Prepare the landing craft!” “Aye-aye, sir!” came the reply.
On shore, a crowd swarmed the passengers and crew showering them with flowers. The fellowship strained to avoid losing sight of Victor as he started up a hill. Tired by the fast-paced, strenuous climb, they spotted a thatched hut and the ship’s captain leading Victor to its open doorway. Moments later they heard, “My father, my king! Is it you?”
Later that afternoon, the islanders had prepared a feast. The crew mingled among the people as if one big family while the fellowship enjoyed the warm, generous hospitality. The island truly was a God-blessed place. King Leonidas, the True, and Victor’s reunion delighted everyone. Thrones sat above the festivities so the king and prince could speak without interruption.
Victor learned his mother died five years earlier. So great was the mutual love that most still mourned her loss. Confiding in his son, Leonidas revealed his secret battle with cancer. God had promised him that he would see his son before life left him. How Victor reminded the king of himself some forty years earlier. Tears flowed from the realization that their father-son relationship would have to be put on hold until it resumed in heaven. Time could not be wasted. Victor was on a mission. He needed to learn everything possible about God’s plan for the future.
A large bonfire roared as the sun disappeared over the western sea. No one wanted the day to end. Leonidas leaned forward. To Victor he said clearly, “Use the element of surprise. Thanks to your mother and my sister’s wisdom, the enemy doesn’t know you exist. There are a few who remain who do know about you and even expect your arrival. These you can trust.”
“You will be repulsed, and yes, by the rebel’s evil hands, you, and those with you, will suffer. Some who you think are with you, will prove unfaithful. You’ll be betrayed, but so it must be. Never fear, the God of our fathers has decreed it. Those who prove their love and loyalty will wear a crown. They will rule the nations. You, my dear son, will be King of kings, and Lord of lords.”
A coughing spell put a halt to the remarkable words. Leonidas knew life was ebbing away. Recovering, the king said weakly, “I must rest. The ship will sail in the morning. By the time you go ashore again, I’ll be resting with our fathers. Rise early and we will worship and pray here. You, my son, will depart with my crown, my scepter, my seal, a sacred scroll and my blessing. I say Good-night.”
Turning to hide his tear-stained face from his father, Victor said, “Your will be done, Majesty.” Kneeling and kissing his hand, he then rose. With a wave, he directed his followers to fall in behind.
Next, “A Charge to Keep”