Faithlife Sermons

A Letter of Hope

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Possible lead in to the sermon could be one of the following songs:
Paddy’s Lament
Don’t Push Send by Carrie Newcomer
What is the most important letter you have ever received? It would be very interesting to hear what each of us would answer if we had the time to do so this morning. Perhaps it is the first love letter we ever received. It may be a letter of acceptance from a University of College to which we wanted to attend. Maybe it was a note that our mother of father wrote us that, at the time we thought was nice, but with the passing of years its become deeply meaningful.
I recently ran across some interesting letters that were written by children to certain adults in their lives.
Dear Mom. Thank yo soooo much for being my mom, if I had a different Mom I would punch her in the face and go find you. Love, Brooke.
Thank yo soooo much for being my mom, if I had a different Mom I woulld punch her in the face and go find you.
Dear Mom, I’m angry at you an I’m not talking to you today and tomorrow.
P.S. all day
P.S.S. I still love you.
Dear Mrs. McMahon, You are a good teacher but not my most favorite.
And then there is this powerful letter that was written by President Abraham Lincoln, referred to as the “Bixby letter:”
Dear Madam, - I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously n the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father my assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully.
A. Lincoln
Historians tells, either rightly or wrongly, that the first letter ever written was by Queen Atossa of Persia in 500 B.C. and ever since that time humanity has been communicating by some form of letter. The handwritten letter evolved to a type written letter. The type written letter gave way to the telegram. As a matter of fact, history tells us that the Zimmermann telegram, in which Germany proposed a military alliance with Mexico against the U.S., precipitated America’s entry into World War I and its subsequent ascension as a world superpower. Eventually, we evolved to the computer age and we started communicating through emails, texting, facebook and other forms of social media.
While the most important letters we have received may take on any number of forms today, one thing remains true. Whatever letter it is contains something within it that is very important. So, once again, What is the most important letter you have ever received?
Have you ever thought about where we would be in life and faith if letter writing had never been developed? Think about how important this is to the development of our faith. The vast majority of the writings that we have in the New Testament came to us originally as an epistle, another word for letter. While not all scholars are in agreement, most would say that the Apostle Paul authored 13 of the epistles that we have in our Bible today. One of those letters is Ephesians. While some may argue that it is not the most important letter in the New Testament, few would say that it isn’t one of the most important. If this is the case then perhaps we need to take note of what is contained within it in an effort to understand why its important to us.
For our purposes here this morning, I want to focus in on just two of the verses that we have read together.
Ephesians 1:18–19 NRSV
so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.
What do you hope in? A question that was asked by the 7 year old son of the guest that was on Glen Beck show on 4/10/18
Open the Eyes of your heart so that
You may know the hope to which you are called
You may know the riches of his glorious inheritance
You may know the immeasurable greatness of his power
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