SERMON TITLE: “Give Thanks for Heroes”
SERMON TEXT: Hebrews 11:29-40
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: November 17, 2019, at First UMC (Wahlen Vets Home Day)
The Standard Examiner went all out in honoring veterans this past week—especially our most elderly ones. On Monday, the front page featured an Ogden area veteran who was 102 years old. On Tuesday, the newspaper featured veterans who were residents of Avamere Mountain Ridge Assisted Living. The person getting the highest honors that day was 100-year-old Darral Allen. Sitting beside him, at the young age of 92, was our very own First UMC member Mel Walker, who came of age just in time to be drafted at the tail end of WW2. Then, on Thursday, the George E. Wahlen Veterans Home made the front page of the newspaper, as those residents were honored with a school group’s musical presentation.
This extended celebration of Veterans Day helps instill in all of us a sense of pride and appreciation for those men and women who once served in our nation’s military. But we all know that heroes don’t have to be elderly, and they aren’t limited to the military. Sometimes our heroes are teachers who inspire us to learn. Sometimes they’re police or firefighters who protect our cities. Sometimes our heroes are peace activists or social leaders who have led our nation and world through great controversy to change policies and laws for the better. Sometimes our heroes are less-flamboyant, but very precious family members and community role models who have taught us by their words and their examples what it means to stand up for what is right and to sacrifice personal gain for a greater good.
Because heroes are present and needed in every era and culture, the Bible also celebrates and honors some heroic characters. I invite you to look with me at Hebrews chapter 11 and its descriptions of valiant persons. Let’s see here some reasons why we should and can give thanks for heroes.