Have you ever visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania? I visited there several years ago. I stood in the place where Abraham Lincoln delivered his immortal Gettysburg address.
Does the name Edward Everett sound familiar to you? He was a famous orator in the day who delivered the speech that preceded President Lincoln’s speech on November 19, 1863.
But here was the difference. Everett’s speech lasted for two hours. Abraham Lincoln’s speech lasted for two minutes.
Everett’s speech made the front page of the newspapers of his day. Nobody today can quote a line from his speech, but Lincoln’s speech was one for the ages.
The contrast of the two reminds us today of something very important: it is not how long one speaks, but the power of the message.
In the New Testament, the 20th chapter of the book of Acts tells the story of the Apostle Paul preaching so long one evening that somebody in the congregation fell asleep and then fell out of a third-story window!
There is no record of Jesus ever preaching to such a great length. What he said was always to the point, and spoke deeply to the soul. Isn’t it amazing that after all these centuries, those few words of Jesus continue to greatly influence our lives?
May our hearts today cry out along with the hymn-writer Philip Bliss, “Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life.”