Sermon 4 Peace.docx


She had inherited twenty million dollars. That’s a lot of money any day, but it was immense in 1890.

She was the belle of New Haven, Connecticut. No social event was complete without her presence. No one hosted a party without inviting her.

Sarah was rich. Well known. Powerful. And miserable.

Her only daughter had died at five weeks of age. Then her husband had passed away. She was left alone with her name, her money, her memories,…and her guilt.

She fled to San Jose, California.

She bought an eight-room farmhouse plus one hundred sixty adjoining acres. She hired sixteen carpenters and put them to work. For the next thirty-eight years, craftsmen labored every day, twenty-four hours a day, to build a mansion.

Sarah’s instructions were more than eccentric…they were eerie. The design had a macabre touch. Each window was to have thirteen panes, each wall thirteen panels, each closet thirteen hooks, and each chandelier thirteen globes.

Corridors snaked randomly, some leading nowhere. One door opened to a blank wall, another to a fifty-foot drop. One set of stairs led to a ceiling that had no door. Trap doors. Secret passageways. Tunnels.

The making of this sad estate ended only when Sarah died. The completed estate sprawled over six acres and had six kitchens, thirteen bathrooms, forty stairways, forty-seven fireplaces fifty-two skylights, four hundred sixty-seven doors, ten thousand windows, one hundred sixty rooms, and a bell tower……….a sad, sad story.

There is, wrote Paul, a “worldly sorrow” that “brings death.” A guilt that kills. A sorrow that’s fatal. A regret that’s deadly.

Does a worldly sorrow plague you? We would do well to ask, “What is a contrite spirit? What should be our attitude?”

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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