This Memorial Day and every Memorial Day that we observe in the U.S.A., honoring our military who have died during their time of service -- be it on the battlefield or training, all of which is dangerous -- runs alongside others who have sacrificed their lives for noble causes, so that others may live. Every day this occurs. Some sacrificed lives are taken in a moment of violence, while others are sacrificed over time. What we honor is self-sacrifice for the protection and good of others. Perhaps no one exemplified this ethic more nobly than Jesus of Nazareth who never donned a military uniform, carried a weapon, or led a militia or army. Jesus lived courageously each day entirely encased not in a full metal jacket or armored tank but in God's love and righteousness. He lived and died this way, so that we may, too. However, in order to live and die this way, we are invited to die in order to live through baptism into Christ. We can do this by having faith/trust as Jesus had faith/trust in God -- faith and trust that God has told us the truth and leads us into God's righteous way -- a way unto genuine forgiveness, redemption, and life beyond sin and death. May we be encouraged to take up this life of faith joyfully in order to follow Jesus faithfully and love freely, so that those who have sacrificed their lives for the good of others may live on through our witness but most of all so that God may be glorified and praised. Blessings of comfort, strength, and peace this Memorial Day to our military families and all who have lost loved ones through sacrificial love and service.
Salem Brothers and Sisters, let us lift up in prayer all those in Ukraine undergoing great stress and turmoil at this time. This map shows the locations of United Methodist churches in Ukraine. The pastors are staying, and they're open to refugees. Pray for our brothers and sisters and their congregations! You can donate to the United Methodist Advance through Salem Church (preferred as we worship together) or use this link and let us know: https://umcmission.org/umcor/ukraine/
Reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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