The Challenger Disaster - 1986 (3 of 5) by Kerry Shook

This content is part of a series.

The Challenger Disaster - 1986 (3 of 5)
Series: Time Machine
Pastor Kerry Shook

This sermon includes the sermon outline and the full sermon transcript. Below you will see a preview of the outline and a portion of the full sermon.


The First Piece


• Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

• God's eyes see what I'm going through.
• Job 13:27 (NIV)

• God's heart cares about my hurt.
• 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

• God's hands can help me.
• Heb. 4:16 (LB)

The Second Piece


• Isaiah 43:18 (NIV)

• Rom. 12:19 (LB)


Most of us in this auditorium can remember 1986. It's hard to believe that it's been 16 years since Top Gun was the top-grossing movie. In 1986 Michael J. Fox of Back to the Future fame won an Emmy for his role in the television sitcom Family Ties. But, the number one show on television in 1986 was The Cosby Show. As America fell in love with the Huxtable family. 1986 here in Houston, though, was a difficult time as the oil industry went from boom to bust and oil prices dipped to $11.00 a barrel. To make things even more difficult, Larry Bird broke the hearts of Houstonians when the Celtics beat the Rockets in the NBA Championship. But, if things were difficult in Houston, it was disastrous in a place in the Soviet Union called Chernobyl. As a thermal nuclear meltdown in a nuclear plant caused thousands to suffer terrible consequences. And, the event that connected all of our lives together in 1986 was another disaster. On January 28 the space shuttle Challenger lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Seven crewmembers were aboard including Krista McCaleuff, a gung-ho schoolteacher from New Hampshire who had been selected from 11,000 applicants to be the first average American in space. Thousands of Americans, including school children everywhere watched what was supposed to be just another normal space shuttle launch. But nothing about sending human beings into space would ever be considered normal again. Just watch.


None of us will ever forget where we were when we first heard the news of the Challenger disaster. None of us will ever forget what we were doing when we heard the news of the disaster. As I was preparing for this series, I thought back on all the powerful events that have changed our lives over the last 20, 30, 40 years and you know what I realized? It's the painful events that we remember the most. Now, this series is full of positively powerful events. Most of them are positive events that we are talking about, but it's those painful events that seem to bring us closer together. I'll never forget right after the disaster how the nation was looking for answers and I'll never forget President Reagan's speech. He didn't give us answers, but his words brought hope and comfort that I think really helped our nation start putting the pieces of our broken hearts back together.
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