The 12-word sermon?
On October 29th 1941 Winston Churchill returned to Harrow, his old school which had assured his parents that he would never amount to anything. It was speech day; it was the midst of war. Knowing undoubtedly more than he could tell the boys about the danger the nation was in and the fragility of our armed forces and carrying more of a burden then he could ever hope to share, the popular version of his speech has it amounting to just 12 words: ‘Never give in. Never, ever give in. Never, ever, ever give in.’ The truth is, though it contained words very like that it was, in fact, a little longer – and in the midst of the battle, with ‘the miracle of Dunkirk’ a little over a year ago and D-Day still almost three years away and all the burdens of the free world upon him, he said: we have only to persevere, to conquer.
And so it is with us, though for very different reasons. Christ reigns on high; his Spirit moves in the world, in the church, and dwells within believers. The battle rages: but Christ died. Christ is risen; Christ will come again. We have only to persevere, to conquer.