A few days after General Cornwallis had surrendered to General Washington in 1781, the little town of Collinsville decided to have a Thanksgiving celebration. Outgrowing the little church, they moved to the opera house which was on the second floor above some shops. Seeing as Pastor Coons was not home from the war yet, the head elder took charge of the meeting while Mrs. Coons sat on the front row. Suddenly someone yelled "Fire!" as a sheet of flame appeared behind the speaker. Smoke filled the room and the congregation began to stampede towards the door. In the confusion, people were getting hurt and the door and stairway leading to safety were becoming clogged. All of a sudden, above the panic and confusion, a song was heard. Mrs. Coon was standing on the platform, eyes closed, fire blazing all around her, singing a familiar hymn. Others began to join in and a calmness settled over the assembly. The traffic jam melted and everyone left the building in an orderly fashion. Everyone, that is, but Mrs. Coons. As she was coming off of the stage, the roof collapsed, silencing her voice forever. As a memorial of what she had done, the townsfolk erected a statue in her honor and placed a bronze plaque on the cottage where she was born. They wanted everyone to know about the brave, heroic deed she had done for them.

We also have impending danger coming upon us. The Bible tells us that we are all sinners and that the wages of sin is death. It's easy to become discouraged and begin to panic if we can't find a way of escape. But in the midst of our confusion comes a voice of comfort, giving us hope and leading us to safety. It is the voice of Someone Who was willing to sacrifice His life so that we could be saved. Just before His death, Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32). Will we lift Jesus up this week? Do we want everyone to know about the brave, heroic deed He did for us? If we do, He will draw all men unto Himself.

Lifting Jesus high,

Pastor Sutherland

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