By Fred Leist, Lead Pastor
One morning in 1888 Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, awoke to read his own obituary. The obituary was printed as a result of a simple journalistic error. You see, it was Alfred’s brother that had died, and the reporter carelessly reported the death of the wrong brother.
Anyone would be disturbed under the circumstances, but to Alfred the shock was overwhelming because he saw himself as the world saw him. The “Dynamite King,” the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives. This, as far as the public was concerned, was the defining purpose of Alfred’s life.
None of his true intentions to break down the barriers that separated people into opposing factions, none of his ideas for working towards peace were recognized or given serious consideration. He was simply a merchant of destruction and death. And for that alone he would be remembered.
As he read the obituary with horror, he resolved to make clear to the world the true meaning and passion of his life. He was determined that his future obituary would reflect a more noble purpose. This would be done through the final disposition of his fortune. His last will and testament – an endowment of five annual prizes for outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace (the sixth category of economics was added later) – would be the expression of his life’s ideals and ultimately would be why we would remember him. The result was the most valuable of prizes given to those who had done the most for the cause of world peace. Today it’s called the “Nobel Peace Prize.” Alfred Nobel’s life work and contributions were shaped by the future he desired.
This Sunday we continue our FREQUENCY: Tune In – Hear GodSummer message series. The message, titled Facing Death Without Fear, is grounded in the Risen Christ’s letter to the church at Philadelphia, and deals with how we face the ultimate reality of death with the hope of the resurrection. The basic thrust and theme of the message is that the New Testament promise of heaven is not about escapism, but rather, about orientation. Seeing glimpses of what life can and will be like, becomes the direction in which we are going. It is the hope of the future that shapes and empowers us for life in the present.
I hope to see you in worship this weekend at the place where the hope of our resurrection faith empowers us to be faithful servants today. ay from Marty Oetting and the Good Turn Daily Bluegrass Band.