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George Dixon was a lieutenant in the Confederate Army who carried around a $20 gold piece that his fiancée had given him in the early days of the war. During the battle of Shiloh, a union musket ball struck him--actually it struck the gold coin, which saved his life. From then on, that dented, gold coin went with him wherever he went. It was his good luck piece, which he was often seen kneading with his fingers.

Eventually, Lt. Dixon took the coin onto the C.S.S. Hunley, a confederate submarine he staunchly believed could break the Union blockade. After sinking the U.S.S. Housatonic, the Hunley herself sank, taking Lt. Dixon and his crew to their deaths. Recently the coin was found when the submarine was raised, a silent testimony to the fact that his golden, good-luck piece could not save him. (Scientists Find Gold Coin in Confederate Sub,

It was a false hope, a dead hope. But in the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ, we have a living hope, a sure and certain hope. One pastor put it this way: "The world offers promises full of emptiness, but Easter offers emptiness full of promise. Empty cross, empty tomb, empty grave-clothes...all full of promise."

(Carolyn Arends, What’s So Good About Good Friday?, 4-10-09. From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Our Living Hope, 4/26/2011)

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