“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

Readings

Exodus 15:1-22 · Revelation 19:11-21 · Psalm 144

Sermon

This week-end we celebrate Memorial Day. War is accompanied with so much destruction, waste, loss of life, both physical and mental suffering that we are not surprised when we hear some people declaring war to be wrong, all wrong, always wrong, wrong for everybody, wrong even in self defense.

The doctrines of our church teach that in most ancient times people lived in peace, that no one desired more than necessaries and so riches were not collected and hoarded. But eventually lust for wealth sprang up. Then men commenced to desire the possessions of others, and the love of accumulated riches and dominion ever grew. Wars then arose, their purpose being to extend dominion and get the property of others.

Who cannot now see that those who started the first world war did so to wrest wealth and territory from other nations? So from one point of view we see clearly that war arises from the love of dominion and lust for riches growing until it bursts all restraints. The beginning of a war is always in evil. But our problem is not so simple. Have we a moral right, by force of arms, to resist and conquer this lust of plunder which, like Lucifer who exemplifies it, would enslave all the world and ascend, if it could, even above the Most High?

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“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” – Matthew 22:21

Readings

Micah 6 · Matthew 22:1-22 · Psalm 104:24-35

Sermon

This week the nation celebrates Memorial Day. The close of the Civil War marked the end of wars between the states. But since that time there have been two world wars. And wars have brought an increasingly heavy burden. It has been roughly estimated that the Civil War cost the nation $30,000,000.00, the First World War $300,000,000.00, and the Second World War $300,000,000,000.00. But this is not the whole cost. The sufferings of war, its deaths, sickness, and poverty, the disordering of useful industries, and the burden of taxation continually increase. We are beginning to realize as never before that for these burdens to continue and increase means the breakdown of civilization. The economic reasons for lessening armaments and ending war were never so strong as they are today.

And as nations are being brought closer together by means of vastly increased transportation facilities, we have been learning to look beyond our national borders and to take world views. We are beginning to be able in national affairs to see from another’s standpoint, to feel another nation’s suffering, and to recognize our duty to relieve it. Our nation is the most productive and the wealthiest nation the world has ever seen. The only proper use of wealth is service, and great amounts of our wealth have been spent in aid to other nations. All this helps toward making people a conference of nations looking to the limiting of armaments and the doing away with war.

Yet strong as the economic reasons are for reducing armaments and establishing peaceful means of adjusting relations among nations, the conference and the effort which it represents cannot succeed, nor can enduring peace among the nations be established on purely economic grounds.

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“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” – Matthew 24:35

Readings

Jeremiah 31:27-37 · Matthew 24:29-51 · Psalm 84

Sermon

Again our country celebrates “Memorial Day.” Great was the relief when the armed conflict ceased, and still greater was the joy in the hearts of the people that the danger was passed and families and friends would be united again. And the hope was inspired that this would be an end to wars between the states. This hope has been fulfilled, and there is no longer any thought of a civil war.

But conditions in the world at large are unsettled and threatening – perhaps more threatening than ever. Whether our country will again be engaged in war it is impossible to predict, for this involves knowledge of the future and no man or angel can know the future. We are living at a time of change both material and spiritual. It is a new age, the age of the New Church. Our text, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,” has really been fulfilled several times, to mark the different spiritual epochs in the history of the human race.

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