Those Who Serve
November 09, 2018
Because I live close to the church, if I have an evening meeting I sometimes come home for a bit in the afternoon to have a snack and read or watch a TV show. Yesterday when I turned on the TV to watch a program on our DVR, I came upon a news conference from southern California. Composed yet visibly shaken, the sheriff from Thousand Oaks, CA, was fielding questions about the tragic shooting in the bar that left twelve people dead. My heart immediately went to the victims and their families. The catch in my stomach and my words of prayer also were for that sheriff. I thought, “nobody would want that job today.” Even if most days he and the other officers are glad about their work, this day was full of heartache and tragedy. I found myself grateful for those who take on the service of first responders.
When my TV show came on, part of it included an interview with, and a conversation between, two veterans of service in Iraq. Tragically, one had been so affected by his work there that he could no longer function in everyday life and had ended up alone and even had been in prison for a while. When someone asked the other veteran how he managed to do his work in Iraq and came home to go to school, get a job and have a family, he said, “I had to—and still do—remember that God was close by me and that I put God first in my life. That’s what has gotten me through.” I was struck by his words and his faith.
This Sunday, Nov. 11, we honor those who serve our communities and country, especially veterans, as we continue our series on Connecting our Lives to God…Our Work and Our Faith. We’ll hear two veterans talk briefly about the intersection of their service and their faith. I know that people serve in many, many ways and we’ve talked about some of them in last few weeks. This Sunday we recognize those who have served as first responders and in the various branches of our military.
Did you know that this Nov. 11, 2018 is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the marking of the end of World War I?
Our prayer: Gracious God, we thank you for those who offer their lives in service to you. Protect and strengthen them. We pray once again for victims of violence and their families. Heal the hearts of those who do or contemplate such crimes, O God, and heal our communities and country. May our words and actions be a reflection of your love and your unending presence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Commitment Sunday is Nov. 18, for Our Hands, God’s Work. Responding in Faith! our 2019 Stewardship Campaign. Bring your commitment card that day, or bring or mail it to the church office. For more information call the church office (520-297-2061) or visit www.umcstmarks.org (giving tab).