Redeemed Captives

When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand

Luke 21:28
Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalms 25:4-5,8-9,10,14; I Thessalonians 3:12-4:2; Luke 21:25-28,34-36

Sermon Week/Year

First Sunday of Advent, C

On the night of February 28th, 1704, approximately 300 French and Indian soldiers took 109 citizens captive in the town of Deerfield Massachusetts. During the raid, a total of 56 men, women and children were killed. Among those taken alive was the prominent Puritan minister Rev. John Williams. After the massacre, the raiding party led the Williams’ and other surviving families on a 300 mile march to Canada over harsh winter terrain. We can imagine how they must have wondered, “what will become of us?” But incredibly, throughout the two-year ordeal, Williams remained steadfast, encouraging his fellow captives with prayer and Scripture, considering how they would continue to serve God. We can imagine him quoting the Apostle Paul saying, “We can boast about looking forward to God’s glory. These sufferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope, and this hope is not deceptive, because the Love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” Buoyed…

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