Yesterday I delivered my final message at Southside Christian Church.
The title of my message was, “Famous Last Words.” I found some great “famous last words” on this website: http://www.geocities.com/athens/acropolis/6537/.
Here are a few of the ones I used to start my sermon:
Ethan Allen (1738-1789) when told by his nurse on his death bed that the angels were waiting to welcome him home he replied, “Waiting are they? Waiting are they? Well–let ’em wait.”
Nathan Hale (1755-1776)–“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.)–“You too, Brutus?”
General John Sedgwick (1813-1864) was a corps commander in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. At the battle of the Wilderness, while inspecting his troops, he approached a parapet and peered out over the surrounding countryside. His officers and men urged him to take cover from small arms fire, but Sedgwick scoffed at their concerns, “What! What men! This will never do, dodging from single bullets!” And then he spoke his last words, “They couldn’t his an elephant from this dist–.”
Last words are important. Last words can tell you a lot about someone.
As I prepared to speak my last words to the congregation at Southside I found myself drawn to the last words of Moses.
Now, I’m not Moses and they are not the Israelites, but there are a lot of similarities between their story and ours.
The Israelites wandered and we’ve wandered as we’ve met in over 14 different locations in the past 12 years.
- The Israelites made some poor choices and we’ve made some poor choice
- The Israelites saw miracles and we’ve seen miracles.
- The Israelites walked with God and we’ve walked with God.
- Moses felt unqualified for the job and I’ve always felt unqualified for this job.
- Moses made mistakes and I’ve made mistakes.
- Moses got frustrated and I’ve experienced frustration at times.
- Moses hated cats and I hate cats. (Well, I can’t prove this point, but I’m sure it’s true!)
- Moses never lost sight of the promised land and I’ve never lost sight of the Promised Land.
- Moses loved the Israelites and I’ve loved the people at Southside since the moment I met them, so I found myself drawn to Moses’ last words.
They are found in Deuteronomy 33:29–
Moses blesses them by reminding them that they are saved, protected, and victorious (you will trample down their high places).
After speaking Moses’ last words, I spoke mine: