1 Thessalonians 3:9 - 4:2

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  • Preaching Helps (Advent 1C)(2018)

    by Doug Bratt
    Few examples of the kind of love about which Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 3 were more expansive than Louis Zamperini’s. The Holy Spirit so filled him with love that it overflowed onto the least likely of all recipients. Laura Hildenbrand describes part of it in her outstanding book, Unbroken. Japanese soldiers captured and sent Zamperini to a prisoner of war camp. There he fell under the command of Corporal Mutsuhiro Wantanabe, among the most sadistic of all Japanese prisoner of war commandants. The one whom POW’s called “The Bird” took special pleasure in killing prisoners only after torturing them slowly and for a long time. After his release from the prison camp, Zamperini suffered greatly. He probably endured what we now call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Zamperini was obsessed with returning to Japan to hunt down and murder “The Bird.” Eventually Zamperini did return to Japan, but not to kill Wantanaba. He described why in a letter to him: “As a result of my prisoner of war experience under your unwarranted and unreasonable punishment, my post-war life became a nightmare. It was not so much due to the pain and suffering as it was the tension of stress and humiliation that caused me to hate with a vengeance… “The post-war nightmares caused my life to crumble, but thanks to a confrontation with God through the evangelist Billy Graham, I committed my life to Christ. Love has replaced the hate I had for you. Christ said, ‘Forgive your enemies and pray for them.’ “I returned to Japan in 1952 and was graciously allowed to address all the Japanese war criminals at Sugamo Prison … I asked then about you, and was told that you probably had committed Hara Kiri, which I was sad to hear. At that moment, like the others, I also forgave you and now would hope that you had also become a Christian.”
  • Advent 1C (2018)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Advent 1C (2018)

    by Jesse Middendorf
  • Advent 1C (2018)

    by Carla Works

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