Letter To Our Children

by Pastor Joe | July 12, 2023 | Letters To Our Children


July 12, 2023

Those who honor me I will honor…

1 Samuel 2:30


Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord.

Romans 14:6


God made me for China.

Eric Liddell


Christ to the World for the world needs Christ!

Eric Liddell’s final words to the crowds seeing

him off to serve as a missionary in China.

Eric Little

Hello Friends!


July 11, 1924, marked the hundred and first anniversary of Eric Liddell's Gold medal win in the four-hundred-meter race in the Olympics. He was the first Scotsman to win an Olympic gold medal. His story is worth retelling.


His Early Years


From an early age, Eric Liddell was fast. How fast was this son of Christian missionary parents? He ran a 10.2-second one-hundred-meter dash while still in boarding school. At Edinburgh University, he ran even faster and received national attention. (The current world record for the one-hundred-meter is 9.58 seconds, set by Jamaica's Usain Bolt in 2009.)


In 1923 while still at university, Eric was invited to share his faith at an evangelistic meeting on campus. The experience received national attention and moved Eric personally. So much so that for the next two years, he would speak to thousands of people about Jesus Christ, who Jesus was, what He did, why he died, was raised, and why it matters to everyone on this planet.


As usual, not all people were happy with Gospel preaching and proclamation. Some newspapers began to write Eric needed to focus on his running more than Gospel proclaiming. Eric resisted, but a moment was on its way, where he was put to the test.


The Test


In 1924 the Olympic games were held in Paris, France. The games take place every four years, which only heightens its pageantry and magnitude. By 1924 Eric was a superstar in the eyes of his nation, not because of Jesus, but his running.


Eric's best event was the hundred-meter dash which held its qualifying heat on a Sunday. However, Eric held the personal conviction Sunday was not a day for that kind of thing. As a result, he refused to run.


There are two things you should know. The first is the English Olympic committee tried to change the date of the qualifying heat but to no avail. Second many good Christians have differing opinions on what to and not to do on Sunday when it comes to what Eric was dealing with. However, Eric Liddell held his conviction even though he would lose the right to race the one-hundred-meter dash.


Working to the Good


As a result of Eric’s decision, The British Press called Eric a traitor. One headline said, “A traitor to Scottish sports.”


Eric preached at the Scottish Presbyterian church in Paris on the same Sunday of the one-hundred-meter qualifying heat. Around the same time, at the Olympic Stadium, a gentleman named Harold Abrahams qualified on that Sunday and would go on to win the one-hundred-meter race. Abrahams would become the first British runner to win a gold medal in the Olympics.


Eric could still enter two races that were not on a Sunday—he entered both. The first was the two-hundred-meter dash which he raced to second place and earned a silver medal. The second was the four-hundred-meter dash.


The finals for the four hundred were on a Friday. Eric was not even a favorite to place. His legs logged lots of running before the finals—fatigue was an issue. Before the race, the team trainer gave Eric a note. It said those who honor me I will honor (1 Samuel 2:30). Eric would win the race, set a new world record (47.6 seconds), and become the first Scot to win an Olympic Gold medal.


Working to God’s Glory


The following year Eric went to China as a missionary. He would marry, have a family (three daughters), and during World War Two, would die in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.


It was revealed after the war that Liddell had turned down an opportunity to leave as part of a prisoner exchange program. Instead, he gave his place to a pregnant woman, therefore, remained at his post, holding to his convictions until he died and woke up in the arms of Christ.


(Eric) gave me two things. One was his worn-out running shoes,

but the best thing he gave me was his baton of forgiveness.

He taught me to love my enemies, the Japanese, and to pray for them.

A fellow prisoner, Stephen Metcalfe




If God made you very good at something, do it to the praise of His glory—but remember, the main things of the Christian faith are always needed—do them as well, to the praise of His glory.



God bless you as your summer continues.


Your friend,

Pastor Joe


P.S. Here is a link to a favorite scene from the movie, Chariots of Fire, which told his story.