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Choosing Our Legacy

July 29, 2011

One morning in 1888 the inventor of dynamite, awoke to read his own obituary. The obituary was printed as a result of a simple error, as it was his brother who had actually died. Any person would be disturbed under the circumstances, but to this man the shock was overwhelming because he saw himself as the world saw him: The obituary described him as a “merchant of death,” who “became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before.” This, as far as the general public was concerned, was the entire purpose of his life, and for this alone he would be remembered.

As he read the obituary with horror, he resolved to make clear to the world what the true meaning and purpose of his life were. This could be done through the final disposition of his fortune. He decided to endow, through his last will and testament, an annual prize to show the world his life’s values. The inventor’s name was Albert Nobel, and the award that would ever thereafter associate his name with his true ideals, which his will stipulated would be awarded by a committee of five people chosen by the Norwegian Parliament, was the “Nobel Peace Prize.”

At St. Paul’s, let us all so devote ourselves to living out God’s love that we might be known as those who forwarded God’s kingdom of peace, making the world a better place for all. Amen.

(Conclusion of July 24 Sermon)

(This video is of the song, “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace,” performed by Susan Boyle. In keeping with the Bishop’s suggestion that all churches in the Diocese offer this prayer as part of our July 24 Services, the prayer on which this song is based was included as part of our Prayers of the People last Sunday.)

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