Pastor Darryl Miller
Sand Lake UMC, 65 W. Maple, Sand Lake
South Ensley UMC, 13600 Cypress, Ensley Township
“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Matthew 20:28 (NIV).
It’s hard to imagine that in a couple of months we will observe the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War—the “War to end all Wars.” And in a couple of days we will observe Memorial day. For too many this day, Memorial Day, simply marks the beginning of summer. Now before we go any farther, please understand that this is not a discussion of the morality or immorality of war. Instead I want to remind us that it is because of the sacrifice made by thousands of men and women that we are able to celebrate our faith.
Many of us have relatives who have served. Some are still alive, most are not. Some came home from their service, some did not. But I am sure that all of them felt that they were serving the people back home and were willing to sacrifice themselves to protect us all from any harm. It is because of brave men and women who decided that this country should be a place of freedom, so much so that they were willing to put everything on the line, that our country was formed so we were allowed to worship freely. And it is because of the sacrifice of many more today that we are still able to do so.
There are still places in the world today where people can be tortured or killed for worshipping the Christian God. We sometimes forget how blessed we are to have the freedoms that we do. Remember that true freedom comes from God. And true freedom is not only worth dying for but it is worth living for. We should remember to live our lives each day sharing the true freedom that Salvation gives us. We do not need to join the service to be in service. We are in service every day—serving our community by living our lives as Jesus taught us. By feeding the hungry, both spiritually and physically, giving drink to the thirsty, from the well of living water as well as the faucet and by giving them freedom, freedom from the oppression of sin in their lives by introducing them to the one who can take those sins away.
So I thank all of you who serve, whether in the military, or in God’s fields. Your work is appreciated and your service is a blessing. This week, if you know someone who served in the military, be sure to thank them for their service. And thank all those who serve God’s people with actions, words and love.