Pop Pop Epistle #45 -About the Gettysburg Address


Dear Grandkids,

You have probably noticed that I enjoy using some lessons from history to pass on some of my Pop Pop wisdom. I hope that you will grow to love history as you get older. There is so much that history can teach us. For instance…

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 2.19.33 PMIt was 155 years ago today that Abraham Lincoln gave what many believe to be “the most eloquent articulation of the democratic vision ever written.” His “little speech,” as he referred to it is known to us as The Gettysburg Address. The year was 1863 and our country was being torn apart by civil war. He used a mere 272 words to brilliantly share why the Union had to fight and win the tragic war between the states. Lincoln’s speech followed a two hour address by Edward Everett, one of the most famous orators of the day. It took Lincoln less than 3 minutes to say what he had to say. And yet it is one of the most famous speeches ever delivered.  (And does anyone remember what Everett said?)

Here is the lesson I want you to learn. Words have incredible power. And you don’t have to use a lot of words to say a lot. Choose your words carefully, whether you are talking to one person or speaking to thousands – which I believe some of you are destined to do.

At the end of the movie The Darkest Hour, the Viscount Halifax says of a speech just given by Sir Winston Churchill a quote worth remembering: “He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.”  I love that quote. It will be something I will always keep in mind whenever I have the opportunity to preach. Churchill was an oratorical master. He used language to motivate and embolden people to greatness.

This is also what is so awesome about Jesus. As you read the Bible note that He does not have to say much to say a lot. He has a bunch of one-liners that have been quoted and re-quoted for over 2000 years.

But, alas, I fear that I am using too many words to make my point. But if you remember nothing else, always remember this…

Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

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