Hubert Albert Ferrell Ramer handed off his torch

Published 2:13 am Saturday, June 2, 2018

By R.A. Mathews

Last Saturday, Hubert Fred Albert Ferrell Ramer handed off his torch. Hubert is my dear friend. He’s also known as “Hoss.”

I met him the morning I joined his Bible study. During that hour, the Holy Spirit shined through Hoss—he’s passionate about Jesus. And I love that.

Sunday morning I heard a radio commentator speak of Solomon as the wisest man who ever lived. Hmmmpfh!

Solomon was a foolish man who broke the First Commandment, worshipping other gods. It was his father, King David, who loved God passionately. For all of the mistakes he made, David belonged to God. Hoss would tell you he’s made many mistakes, but Hoss also belongs to God.

More than anything, Hoss wants to share Jesus. In fact, not long after the morning I met Hoss, he asked me, “Are you saved?”

I almost slid out of my chair.

It didn’t matter that I’d graduated from seminary, had been ordained, and wrote a weekly faith column. No, he wasn’t embarrassed to ask. Not Hoss.

And, frankly, it’s a fair question—I know more than one minister who’s lost in darkness.

So you see what I mean. Hoss wasn’t taking any chances. His girl wasn’t getting left behind—not on Hubert Fred Albert Ferrell Ramer’s watch.

For a while now, Hoss and I have had a project. I told him of a man whose life is in shambles. This man grew up close to the Lord, but has let one poor choice after another lead him away from his faith. As soon as Hoss heard about it, he was like a dog with a bone, determined to have a talk with that man, to get him back on track. That’s what Jesus asks of us, to be His Light in a world filled with darkness.

Initially, Jesus came only for the Jews, but His mission changes. By the 4th Chapter of John, Jesus has become incredibly successful—and the Pharisees are scared of Him.

But it’s too soon to surrender to them. Instead, Jesus travels north, away from danger.

Our Lord says, “The fields are white for harvest.” John 4:25 ESV

There are many He still hopes to reach.

It’s noon when Jesus stops by a well in Samaria. This region was hard to avoid because it sat in the middle of what was once Israel.

Who were the Samaritans? They were Jews who’d intermarried with foreigners centuries earlier. In other words, they were half breeds. Jews despised them—God had unequivocally told his people not to intermarry.

So Jesus sits down at the well and sends His disciples into town for food. He’s alone—water was usually drawn in the morning or evening—but at this quiet moment God leads a woman to the well.

Jesus asks her for a drink of water, and the Samaritan woman is startled—no Jew would do that!

We don’t know everything Jesus says, but apparently He tells the woman her life story.

“You’re a prophet,” she responds.

Jesus answers that He’s the Messiah.

Immediately, the woman hurries back to town. “Come see a man who told me all that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

Scripture says that many believed Jesus was the Messiah solely because of her testimony. Jesus chose this Samaritan woman to bring His Light to the Gentiles, and she went straight away and proclaimed the Good News.

Jesus has chosen you for something, as well. We each have a ministry, but understand that there’s a time stamp on the work given to us.

Sunday, a week ago, I asked my minister to go and pray with the man I mentioned earlier, who has stumbled in his faith. I didn’t know why, couldn’t have known, but Hoss was going on—it was time for Hubert Fred Albert Ferrell Ramer to pass his torch to another. Indeed, four days later, Hoss had a massive heart attack. His funeral is today.

Every Christian gets the chance to carry the Light of Jesus to the world. The woman at the well and my beloved Hoss chose to do so. And with glee.

But the opportunity to be there for Jesus won’t last forever.

When it comes time for you to hand off your torch—perhaps this week or this year—what will you have done for God?

Prayerfully consider this. Then go and do what God asks of you.

© 2018 R.A. Mathews The Rev. Mathews is an attorney, columnist, and the author of “Reaching to God: Great Truths from the Bible.”