Remember With Gratitude

A few days ago I had a very humbling experience. I was at a conference in the Netherlands. One of my fellow participants asked what I planned to do on our day off. I replied that I intended to visit one of the World War II battlefields which was nearby. His response took me totally by surprise. “Thank you for what you did for our freedom.” The words were all the more amazing because I hadn’t even been born, let alone taken part in the liberation of Europe. Further, the man who thanked me was from Austria. As you know, during World War II his country was on the other side.

Together

(Written to go with a sermon on Hebrews 11:29-40, especially verse 40.)

Diversity is all the rage these days. It seems you can’t turn on the news without hearing about another complaint that some aspect of our society doesn’t reflect the actual mix of people who live here. People agonize over whether people of a certain gender or ethnic background are under-represented. In the name of diversity publishers force authors to change the backgrounds of the characters in their books, even though it detracts from the story.

Why Remember?

(Prepared for a sermon on Hebrews 3:1-6)

Just before He was arrested and crucified, Jesus gave His disciples some unleavened bread and asked them to eat it. He also passed around a cup of wine and told them to drink from it. He instructed them to keep on eating bread and drinking wine in His memory. For the last 2,000 years, the followers of Christ have been doing what Jesus asked. Every Sunday we gather to eat the bread and drink the wine in memory of Jesus.

Persuaded

(Prepared to compliment a sermon based on Acts 26:28.)

Life can be confusing. Sometimes we don’t know what to think about a particular situation. We hear something and we don’t know whether to believe it because we’re not sure if what we’ve been told is possible or not.

A Time To Say Goodbye

In the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon points out that there are cycles or seasons, not only in nature, but also in our lives. One of the implications of cycles and seasons is that there is an appropriate time and place for every activity. If we take action outside the appropriate time, we cannot expect good results. To illustrate his point Solomon wrote, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 NIV)

His Indescribable Gift

(Given Christmas Eve)

Many of us approach this time of year with mixed feelings. On the one hand, we enjoy getting together with friends and family. We enjoy having a break from school or work. We enjoy the lights, the decorated trees and singing Christmas carols. We especially enjoy the feasts and the special snacks which seem to only come out this time of year.

Resolutely

(Prepared for a sermon from Acts 16:6-11 on changes in plans.)

Have you ever planned a trip, only to have everything go wrong? You start out to go to a specific destination but, you take a wrong turn and end up somewhere you had no intention of going. Or perhaps you missed a plane connection and were forced to change your route. Or you got sick and couldn’t complete your journey. Or you found out after you started traveling that the reason for your trip no longer existed, so you decided to do something else.

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