The "Magical Mystery" Bus

Just as the ubiquitous yellow school busses are revving up to begin another school year across the nation comes word about President Obama’s brand new $1.1 million mystery bus. Perhaps you’ve seen it on his road trip this week through some of our Midwest neighbor states—that new Greyhound-size black bus, with blacked out windows and red and blue police lights. Few details of the bus have been released, although the Christian Science Monitor website has conjectured what the imposing bus might be like. If it shares similarities with the familiar black presidential Cadillac limousine, nicknamed “The Beast” by the Secret Service, then it, too, is built like a tank, with “8-inch thick armor-plated sides, special bulletproof glass, and Kevlar-reinforced tires . . . mounted on specially designed rims that can continue to drive even if the tires are missing.” Similarly the new bus “is probably airtight, and likely has an advanced fire suppression system, oxygen tanks, and is built to withstand a chemical attack.” And on the bus, as in The Beast, “bags of Obama’s blood” are surely on board in the event of a medical emergency. But because the bus is significantly bigger, it no doubt contains more than The Beast’s tear gas cannons, shotguns and night vision cameras. How many satellite phones and communication wizardry—to connect with government officials and world leaders in the event of a terror event—is anybody’s guess. Actually, the Secret Service commissioned the Hemphill Brothers Coach Company to build two such busses, since the Republican presidential candidate next year will be given similar protection. Total cost for these two “mystery” busses? $2,191,960. ( So how are you planning to travel this new year? Forget about a bus. If you’re like me, you’ll be glad for your trusty old bucket of bolts to simply survive another winter! But would you like to travel even better than the President? The title for this new blog, “The Fourth Watch,” comes straight out of a dramatic emergency (as last week’s blog noted). “Now in the fourth watch of the night [Roman reckoning for 3-6 a.m.] Jesus went to them, walking on the sea” (Matthew 14:25). There’s no president alive who can travel like that! When Peter recognized it was Jesus walking the wind-lashed swells, he called out into the fury if he might come. “Come.” And Peter did, with all the bravado of a seasoned fisherman. “But when he saw the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’” (v 30). In that split second the Savior grasped Peter’s flailing hand. “Walking side by side, Peter’s hand in that of his Master, they stepped into the boat together” (Desire of Ages 381). Did you catch that? Side by side, hand in hand with the God of the universe. No mystery bus or The Beast. Instead a walk through the fourth watch, through the raging storm, with the Savior. Which is why I hope you’ll join me next week at Pioneer or this website in a life-changing journey with Christ through the Gospel of John—“The Last Word: The Fourth Gospel for a Final Generation.” That Peter walked on water isn’t the surprise—that Jesus wanted him to is. So pray with me L. D. Avery Stuttle’s prayer: I cannot, dare not, walk alone The tempest rages in the sky A thousand snares beset my feet A thousand foes are lurking nigh Still Thou the raging of the sea O Master! let me walk with Thee.