By: Curtis Schofield, Spiritual Insights
through the church channel I reached back into the past to the 1970’s and
listened to Bishop Fulton Sheen, a Roman Catholic priest, who was one of the
first leaders of the Church to use television to share hope. He was seeking to
bring a message of hope to what he called “a people caught up in the down cycle
He was speaking
to a generation who had experienced World War I and World War II, and who were
facing a future darkened by the mushroom cloud of the spread of atomic weapons.
He called our
attention to our grandparents who gave us hope because they were the people of
the 19th century, a people of hope, living in one of the up cycles of life.
century was one of many great inventions and heroes who refused to flounder in
the ashes and wreckage of the moment and stood on something solid, called
faith, and used the fallen stones of their civilization to build new homes and
factories, and places of worship.
missionary movement began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A cry went
out from the youth, “Let us win the world to Christ in this generation.”
caught again the spirit of hope that was experienced in the eighteenth century
when Francis Asbury, a 26–year–old young man from England, landed on the shores
of North America to lead and expand a Methodist movement that found thousands
of young men eager to answer the call of spiritually leading the pioneers of
hope on the frontier.
Hope spread by
providing “preaching places’ and Christian communities, in nearly every
community in this new land.
said these were people of hope, not because life was easy, but because they
refused to be satisfied with just the answers of “how”, but were determined to
find answers to the questions of “Why.”
In the 1950’s
through the 1970’s Bishop Sheen called the post war generation to seek from
their faith the answer to the “why” question.
He closed his
message by pointing to Jesus Christ who lived and died victoriously because He
knew why He was here up this earth. “If you seek to save your life, you will
lose life, but if you give your life for my sake and the gospel, you will find
life" (Matthew 10:39).
Curtis Schofield is a retired United
Methodist minister. He and his wife, Clara, have served two churches in Dade
County. In retirement he volunteers through Trenton United Methodist Church to
help small churches.