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June 5, 2011

We live in a tortured piece of history. Religious leaders in certain parts of the world teach their adherents that it is a good thing to maim and murder in the name of God. Great will be the prurient reward of the one who slaughters the innocents, the unbelieving infidels.
It is into this twisted environment that the men and women of the United States military are called every waking day. It is not my fathers world, and it is not my fathers war. My fathers war was fought against standing armies and established nations. Todays war is waged against stealth armies and ideologies unthinkable.
Still, every day young men and women line up to join the ranks of the various units of our military. Every day there are those who place honor above comfort and give their lives to service of country.
Many never make it home. They give their lives that we might have opportunity to live ours within the context of freedoms that we establish for ourselves. We fashion our own liberties, set our own goals, and pretty much do as we will.
And that is as it is because of sacrifices made by those who have willingly taken the place that we did not take. We give thanks for those people.
The other side teaches that there is great glory in war. The other side teaches that God dances to the drumbeat of violence and hate and cruelty. The other side teaches that God only loves one clan, one color, one camp.
But, we are not the other side.
There is nothing glorious about war. God most assuredly winces at humankinds inability to come to grips with the sanctity of life and with the joys inherently bestowed upon us all joys to be cherished.
That is not to say, though, that there are not things worth dying for.
Jesus said, Greater love has no one than this: to lay down ones life for ones friends. John 15:13.
Memorial Day will be long since passed when you receive this. You will be back doing those daily things that you normally do. But, you will have gone to the ball game, or enjoyed the picnic, or spent time with family and friends, or fired up the grill, or whatever it was that you did to celebrate the holiday.
Remember that you did that because of freedoms bravely won and preserved on your behalf.
We give thanks for the memory of those who have fought and died, even as we rejoice that one day the Prince of Peace will have his way, and war will be no more.

And Ill see you Sunday.

Gary