Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
May 25, 2014 at 10:45 AM
A Time for Reflections
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday May 25, 2014
A Time for Reflections
“...whatsoever things are true...honest...just... lovely...if there be in any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” Philippians 4:8
This weekend is the first of three nationally 
recognized summer holidays. Ideally, this one - 
Memorial Day - should elicit somber thoughts, 
praises, and appreciation for those lost in battle 
for the defense of America. 
Sadly, the original purpose this weekend is 
greatly overshadowed by the entertainment phases 
with marginal, if any, thoughts being directed to 
those in the Armed Forces who gave their last full 
measure of devotion for the United States of 
Since our nation is moving further away from the 
principles of freedom, equality, and justice, it is 
deemed appropriate to plead for a moral rearmament 
to, first, honor the deceased defenders of 
democracy, and, secondly to gleam and embrace 
scriptural teachings to help our nation recapture 
its founding principles of freedom and equality. 
Accordingly, the Memorial Day Sermon for 2014 has 
been entitled, “A Time for Reflections”. It will be 
anchored by the following three dimensions, 
namely: some observations on Memorial Day, Paul’s 
guidelines to the Philippians to evaluate life, and the 
contemporary focus on Memorial Day. 
Prior to addressing these three aspects of the 
sermon, brief attention will be focused on the 
scriptural anchor. As noted in the textual reading, 
the book is known as Philippians and was written 
by Paul to the Church he had established in 
Philippi. Paul wrote this letter while he was in 
prison in Rome. This letter is classified as a 
missionary epistle owing to its emphasis on funds 
that the church had earlier given to Paul for purpose 
of establishing other churches. In this letter, Paul 
reminded them that their funds were not used for 
his support because he was a successful tent maker. 
In closing his letter, called on the Philippian to make 
serious evaluations regarding ideas and actions 
before embracing them; hence, his advise was to 
“...think on these things.” 
Against this synopsis of Philippians, the focus 
will be turned to the earlier specified sub topics, the 
first of which is - Some highlights on Memorial Day. 
“Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein 
the men and women who died while serving in the 
United States Armed Forces are remembered. It 
is observed on the last Monday of May. It was 
formerly known as Decoration Day and 
commemorates all men and women, who have died 
in...” defense of America at home and abroad. 
Already a flag has been placed at every grave 
site in Arlington National Cemetery. Many employees 
will have Monday from work. The numerous activities 
will include: travel, cookouts, boating, swimming, 
and leisurely spending of the time in various 
endeavors. Oh! but Tuesday is forthcoming and it is 
back to the grind. This somber fact leads to the 
second phase of the sermon which is - Paul’s letter 
to the Philippians. In Chapter 4, he devoted specific 
attention to the problem of evaluating ideas, events, 
and experiences in life. Although many years 
separate contemporary times from days of the 
Philippians, those concise indicators are yet 
relevant for humanity of today. Paul, first, identified 
realities of life that included: truth, honesty, justice, 
compassion and called on those people to “...think 
on these things.” 
Paul was quite aware of the false prophets, 
critics of Christianity, and workers of iniquity who - 
collectively - were constantly seeking to mislead 
the converts. He was fully aware of falsehood, 
dishonesty, injustices, and immoral actions 
being perpetrated, but Paul did not recommend 
turning a deaf ear to the adversaries; instead, he 
called upon the converts to listen, evaluate, and then 
choose those things that are pure and good report. 
In sum, Paul was calling on the Philippians to be 
open but critical mind and, therefore, they were 
encouraged to “think on these things”. Beloved, 
that admonition leads to the last concern of the 
sermon which is - our contemporary focus on 
Memorial Day. Unfortunately, it must be stated that 
- while is upon us - all is not well on the home front. 
There is an impending, but rapidly, spreading of a 
cloud of political maneuvers to exploit the middle 
class and leave America with the haves and the 
have nots, there are legislative mandates to 
diminish minority voting participation, there are 
cooperative acquisition of small businesses thereby 
causing massive unemployment, there is the great 
political divide with a surging Tea Party, there 
continues to be gender pay discrimination, there 
is a cloaking of same sex marriage as a legal rather 
than religious matter, and there are too many of 
our people of color with a mere self interest rather 
than to be committed to the greatest good for the 
greatest number. Beloved, what should be our 
religious stance concerning survival in this 
increasingly racist nation in 2014, fifty years after 
the Civil Rights bill was enacted? Two 
recommendations are herein submitted. First, let 
us heeds Paul’s call to the Philippians - “to thinks 
on these things” and, secondly, embrace the 
message found in 2nd Chron. 7:14 “ If my people, 
which are called by my name, shall humble 
themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and 
turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear 
from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will 
heal their land. Amen! Happy Memorial Day
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