Sermon Illustrations

Marty Halyburton’s husband, Porter, was shot down during the Vietnam War, and Navy personnel came to her home to tell her he had died in battle. For several days, Marty was too numb to respond. Flags flew at half-staff all over town, and a grave-marker was placed in Porter’s memory in his family’s cemetery.

Eighteen months passed quite slowly, and though Marty tried to adjust to her loss, it was very tough. Then one day, a group of military staff came yet again at her house, this time with remarkable news. Porter was alive, in relatively good condition, being detained by the North Vietnamese.

Marty’s emotions soared as if she had her own set of wings. But they implored that she keep this amazing information to herself for fear of reprisals against the POWs with him in captivity if the news got out. That was almost a little too much to ask, but she was obedient to their insistence, for Porter’s well being.

How does one hide the sparkle in the eyes, the hop in the step, and the smile on the face? How does one hide the sudden a transformation of persona? How does one talk to friends and family without blurting out the wonderful report?

In the end, the Navy officials realized Marty’s predicament and made it easier by formally changing Porter’s status, and now she could phone everyone with this life changing news: “He’s alive!”

The delight of the Resurrection is irrepressible. No true follower of the Christ can keep it buried in the recesses on the mind. We should be enthused to live out that joyfulness each and ever day; and we can do so through the giving our lives without any reluctance to our Lord.