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Memorial Day Devotion

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 

Memorial Day is observed the last Monday in May each year to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the military. Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for their country. We spend time reflecting on their service and why we have the freedoms we enjoy. Also, we might consider how we can support and safeguard their grieving families and loved ones who are left behind. 

Traditionally, on Memorial Day people visit cemeteries and memorials, and often we place American flags on each grave site. Many persons will fly the flag at their home or business to honor and respect the meaning of this day. This year as our nation and our world battle the unseen foe of COVID-19 in a global pandemic, we are reminded how precious life is and how important it is to pause and remember with thanksgiving for those who fought and died to ensure life and freedom for others. 

Sacrifice on behalf of others is at the heart of our Christian faith. In John 15:13 are these words of Jesus, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” We know that doing things for others is a central tenet of belief in God and a core practice of faithful living. We hold those that sacrifice for others as exemplars. One such individual was John Robert Fox, a Second Lieutenant in the 92nd Infantry Division in WWII. During the conflict, he was tasked to stay behind in the small village of Sommocolonia, in Tuscany. The village was overrun by Nazis, and Americans were in retreat. He used his radio to call for artillery fire to be directed at the village in order to give the US forces time to escape. The barrage worked, and later they found his body surrounded by the bodies of over 100 German soldiers, a true hero who gave his life so that others would live. 

We worship and serve a Lord and Savior who gave his life for all of us, dying on a cross so that we might live. Jesus willingly gave himself for us. We, as his disciples, are called to live in faith for others. We may never be asked to face death as part of that call, but we can serve others in our daily lives. I encourage all of us to think selflessly, give generously, and offer our best to others so that God is honored in what we say and do. That’s the best way to respect and honor the many sacrifices that have been made on our behalf. 

Bob Winstead 

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Little Moments

"In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for men." Colossians 3:23 

At this point in quarantined life with my kiddos, we have gotten into good routines and adapted to a new way of life. Now, school is drawing to a close and we are counting our many blessings for a healthy ending to this crazy school year. As we celebrate graduations, from pre-k through college and higher education, and recognize this as a time in late May as a time of transition. We can look back and reflect. Tiny moments of hard work have come together like little pieces in a puzzle. Each piece adds more detail to a beautiful picture. Now, we can look back and see a picture of the year. This year has had its twists and turns, and we have and continue to navigate them. Each twist, each turn, has required best effort on our parts to make this situation work. These moments may seem like they are very quiet, private moments as we have tucked ourselves away in our homes. But we were never alone. God has been with us through it all. In all of our effort to make the best of this, when no one else could see, God saw. We did our best to honor and glorify God. We now move to summer, and our work may change a little here and there, or we may press on. No matter how it changes, we still have opportunities to show our faith in the little things that we do. These little moments will become a big chunk of time. We will be so glad that in this time, we gave our best effort to honor God. 

Katie Ryan 

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