"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." - John 15:13
Earlier this week, I read an article about World War II veterans, who passed away during this current pandemic. The writer noted that our country was quietly losing some of our national treasures. As we begin this year's Memorial Day weekend, let's acknowledge that a lot has changed. The military ceremonies and high school marching bands are cancelled. There won't be crowds cheering along the streets and sidewalks. There won't be family picnics in the park. On the other hand, there are things that remain true this Memorial Day. As a nation, we'll reflect on the sacrifice of our service men and women. We'll give thanks for the lives lost and the grief endured by surviving family members. We'll remember fallen heroes and offer tributes for the high price that was paid for the sake of freedom. On a more personal level, we can share photos and stories on social media. We can explain to children and grandchildren the meaning and history of Memorial Day. Here are two additional suggestions from one of our church members, Lillian Wertheim: 1 - Visit the Veterans Walk of Honor at Faith UMC. It's located near our front entrance. The space has been well cared for by members of our Veterans Voices group. Come and sit. Reflect and pray for service men and women both past and present. 2 - Join the Orland Park Memorial Day Virtual Remembrance on Monday, May 25 @ 11 AM. The live broadcast can be viewed on the Village's YouTube channel or on the cable access tv channel (Comcast channel 4 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99.) Note: several Veterans Voices members are participating in this event, including: Dale Carver, Al DeNormandie, and Darryl Wertheim. Lillian offered these words that I'll use to conclude today's devotion: "Even though we are unable to gather together now, we can still remember the brave men and women, who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country."
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the service of our fallen heroes. As we remember their sacrifice, take away our appetite for violence and hunger for war. Wipe away our tears of sadness and reinvigorate our pursuit of peace. We ask all this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.