My grandfather, the Rev. Dr. Plumer Smith, was a Presbyterian missionary to the Belgian Congo for 43 years, retiring in 1956. My mother Ruth Gilmer was born on Mutoto station, in the Congo. My mother passed on to me what her father Plumer told her: "If someone asks you to speak, say ‘Yes.’" So it was, that some dozen or so years ago, I was asked by the late Mrs. Ruth Martin, a faithful member of our Bible Study class, if I would speak at Grace Chapel in Bear Creek, Pennsylvania, that summer. I said "Yes." I have been blessed to be asked to return there, and to speak on occasion elsewhere in the area. Those messages are listed below.
As I was compiling this list and editing the various documents to put them into a proper .pdf format, I find that I do seem to keep coming back to familiar passages, and familiar themes. I can't escape the power of the Elijah story, reinforced by the blessing of Mendelssoh’s oratorio. I seem to keep coming back to Paul’s words to the Romans, that nothing can separate us from the love of God. And I seem to repeatedly find myself concluding with Jesus’s words at the conclusion of the Revelation of John, inviting all who will to partake of the water of life. I have been blessed by these words, and I hope that others will be as well.