Great Britain followed France’s lead and closes their borders, but once again, they were too late. South Hampton, Liverpool, North Hampton, all reported cases of mystery flu by nightfall.
The authorities explain that from all indications a person can be infected for up to a week without even knowing it. Then, after the disease spreads throughout your body, you have four days of unbelievable and unbearable symptoms before you die.
On Tuesday morning the President of the United States makes the following announcement: "Due to a national security risk, all flights to and from Europe and Asia have been canceled. If you have friends or family members overseas, I’m sorry. They cannot return to the states until we find a cure for this thing."
Within four days, our nation is paralyzed by the fear that this disease will somehow make its way across the Atlantic. Some preachers begin referring to the disease as “the scourge of God."
On Wednesday night, you are at a church prayer meeting when somebody runs in from the parking lot with a transistor radio shouting for everyone to be quiet and listen. The entire church listens as the announcement is made. Two women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from the “mystery flu.” Within hours, reports sweep across the country of people on the East and West coasts that have come down with the deadly disease. The best people in the world of medicine have been working around the clock trying to find an antidote. But so far nothing has worked.
And then, on Friday afternoon, a week after the epidemic broke out a news conference is called, and the Surgeon General announces that A cure has been found, and that a vaccine can be produced. He goes on to explain however, that the vaccine will require the blood of someone who hasn’t been infected. So as you might imagine, throughout the Midwest, the authorities use the emergency broadcast system to ask everyone to go down to the local hospital and have their blood type taken.” Of course you are a good law abiding Christian, so you and your family make your way to the hospital late Friday evening. When you get there, you notice a long line. A group of doctors and nurses are busy pricking fingers, taking blood and then labeling it. After they take your blood type they say, "Wait here in the parking lot, and, when we call your name, you may go home." You stand around nervously talking with your friends and neighbors, wondering what in the world is going on and if this is in fact the end of the World. Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He’s yelling a name and waving a clipboard. What? He yells it again While he’s yelling your son begins tugging on your jacket and says, "Daddy, that’s me." Before you know what’s going on, a couple of men in white coats grab your 4-year-old son and start toward the hospital. You stop them and say, "Wait just a minute. You’re not taking him anywhere until you tell me what’s going on” One of them stops and says, “Hey, calm down your son is okay, in fact his blood type is a perfect match. Now we just have to make sure he doesn’t have the disease. Five minutes later, a group of doctors and nurses come out of the hospital crying and hugging one another--some are even laughing. It’s the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week. Then a gray haired very distinguished looking doctor walks up to you and says, "Thank you sir. Your son’s blood type is perfect. It’s clean, it’s pure, and we can make the vaccine." As the good news quickly spreads around the parking, some people begin screaming, others laugh, while a few form a circle and begin praying and praising God.
But then the gray-haired doctor pulls you and your wife aside and says, "May I see you for a moment? We didn’t realize that the donor would be a minor and we need you to sign a consent form." You start to sign the consent form, but then you see that the number of pints of blood to be taken is not indicated anywhere on the form. So you nervously ask the doctor "H-h-h-ow many pints they will need?" And that’s when the old doctor’s smile fades, and he says, "We had no idea it would be a small child, but the fact is we need it all" "You ask about a transfusion, but he explains that it’s just not possible. Then he asks again, “will you please sign and give us your consent to begin.” Standing there in a daze, you don’t know what to do, but when they explain that there’s no other way, you finally give them your consent. After you sign the paper, they ask you if you, "Would you like to have a moment with you son before they begin?"
Could you walk back to that room where your 4 year old son is sitting on a table crying and saying, "Mommy, Daddy What’s going on?" Could you take his hand and say, "Son, your mommy and I love you and we would never ever let anything happen to you unless it was absolutely necessary.. Do you understand that?" About that time the doctor comes back and says, "I’m sorry, but it is imperative that we get started. People all over the world are dying, and every second counts." Could you leave? Could you turn your back on your son and walk out of that room with him screaming " Mom? Dad? Why . . . why have you forsaken me?"
The following week, they have a ceremony to honor your son. Some people sleep through it, while others don’t even bother to come because they have better things to do. The majority of those that do make the effort to come, are only there because they feel obligated to be there, but if the truth was known they would rather be somewhere else, doing something else. Now, I don’t know about you, but if this had happened to me I believe I would want to jump up and say, "EXCUSE ME BUT DON’T YOU REALIZE THAT MY SON DIED FOR YOU DON’T YOU EVEN CARE? DOESN’T MY SON’S DEATH MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU?"
I wonder, if that’s what God wants to say to us this morning? "MY SON DIED FOR YOU DOESN’ T THAT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU?" DON’T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?"
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Scott Sharpes on Aug 27, 2003
In the movie “City Slickers,” Billy Crystal plays a confused, dissatisfied thirty-something character with a vague sense that life is passing him by. Jack Palance- ancient, leathery, wise to the ways of the world (“a saddlebag with eyes”) – asks Crystal if he would like to know the secret of ...read more
Contributed by Chris Hodges on Jul 29, 2003
America’s ambassador to Japan, Douglas MacArthur II, served as Counselor of the State Department under John Foster Dulles. Like Dulles, MacArthur was a hard worker. Once when Dulles telephoned the MacArthur home asking for Douglas, Mrs. MacArthur mistook him for an aide and snapped irately, ...read more
Contributed by Scott Sharpes on Aug 27, 2003
1. Richard A. Swenson, M.D. writes in “Margins,” “The conditions of modern-day living devour margin. If you are homeless, we direct you to a shelter. If you are penniless, we offer you food stamps. If you are breathless, we connect the oxygen. But if you are marginless, we give you yet one ...read more
Contributed by Bruce Howell on Mar 22, 2004
MAX LUCADO, in one of his books, tells a story that he read about a newlywed couple that had a honeymoon disaster. They arrived at the hotel in the wee hours with high hopes. They had reserved a large room with romantic amenities. That's not what they found. Seems the room was pretty skimpy, no ...read more