Sermons

Summary: Whenever we are in a dark and difficult time we will find ourselves at the crossroad of a choice between living in fear and uncertainty or embracing the opportunity that always lies within every difficult time.

Fearful Uncertain Crisis Or

Powerful Unexpected Opportunity?

OKAY - God did it again.

He woke me up at 5 am on Thursday morning and once again He impressed upon me that it is still not the right time to launch our verse by verse study of the Gospel of Mark.

SO TODAY – March 22, 2020 we will be unpacking a conversation I am calling,

Fearful Uncertain Crisis

Or Powerful Unexpected Opportunity?

Prayer

On May 10th 1940, the Germans…

AFTER - conquering…

Czechoslovakia – Austria – Poland – Denmark – Norway – Belgium – The Neverlands and Luxembourg…

BEGAN - their invasion of France. Thirty Five days later on June 14th Paris fell.

AND - in a manner of days France would surrender 0n June 25th 1940 and England would stand as Europe’s only bulwark, against the twin evils of fascism and Nazism.

AND LISTEN – it was at this critical moment that Winston Churchill gave his third and final speech during the battle of France, ONCE AGAIN - imparting words intended to bring hope to the people of his nation, in this hour of great darkness.

SO ON - June 18, 1940, Winston Churchill stood before the House of Commons and gave a speech, that would later be broadcast to the entire nation. Here is an exert from that speech.

“…However matters may go in France or with the French Government or with another French Government, we in this island and in the British Empire will never lose our sense of comradeship with the French people.

If we are now called upon to endure what they have been suffering, we shall emulate their courage, and if final victory rewards our toils they shall share the gains, aye. And freedom shall be restored to all.

We abate nothing of our just demands—Czechs, Poles, Norwegians, Dutch, Belgians, all who have joined their causes to our own shall be restored.

What General Weygand has called the Battle of France is over... THE BATTLE - of Britain is about to begin.

UPON THIS BATTLE - depends the survival of Christian civilization.

UPON IT - depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.

The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be freed and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.

But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."

AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS – history records that it indeed it was their finest hour!

WHICH IS WHY - we are talking about it today 80 years later.

HOWEVER – that victory did not come without a cost as 450,000 British citizens died… 1% of the population.

That would be like 3.3 million Americans dying today.

Fearful Uncertain Crisis

Or Powerful Unexpected Opportunity?

Winston Churchill chose the latter.

AND LISTEN – 50 years ago, we see those same words of Churchill echoed again, during another crisis, when

During the flight of the Apollo 13 a mechanical function caused the commander, Jim Lovell, to radio back to earth, “Houston, we have a problem.”

AND LISTEN - while landing on the moon now was not an option, the task before the team on earth and in the injured spacecraft was to get the three astronauts (205,000 away) back home alive.

AND AS - the men in mission control were weighing the odds, two men we talking in hushed tones, indicating that the odds were slim that the three astronauts onboard Apollo 13 would return home. AND - one of those men a flight director, said, “This could be the worst disaster NASA has ever faced.”

The mission commander, Gene Kranz, overheard the men talking.

With a stern resolute face he replied, “with all due respect, sir, I believe this is going to be our finest hour”

AND INDEED – it was…

I MEAN - there was even a movie about in 1995 (25 years ago, who feels old)… that was nominated for 9 Academy Awards.

NOW – it did not win the award for best picture award that year my all time favorite movie… Braveheart won

UNDERSTAND – though some in mission control chose fear and uncertain, Gene Franz chose to embrace the opportunity and it became their finest hour.

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