Monday, May 31, 2010

Evening Devotion 5/31/10

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13

As we consider the plight of the hostages and the prisoners, the captives and the slaves, let us also take this opportunity to remember the lives of those who have and continue to give all that they are in that deeper sense of sacrifice for the cause of freedom and liberty throughout this world as they have sought to and continue to seek to break all bondage and chains that would so bind men and women to brutal oppression and bitter hurt. Theirs remain the righteous cause of a just God who looks upon His children with favour as He calls on some to rise up and protect the weak and the innocent, the poor and the destitute, the troubled and the restrained.

We have been richly blessed beyond that of what we deserve, dear brothers and sisters, by the lives of our soldiers and our veterans, by the sacrifices they have made and the lives that they have given to stop the advance of wickedness and unrighteousness. In the deepest hours of need they have contended against slavery and persecution, genocide and tyranny, and all for the cause of humanity in the knowledge that life remains sacred and valued in the eyes of the Lord. Amidst that they have been willing to sacrifice all that men and women may be viewed as having a worth to them that had been otherwise robbed from them. They do the work that we cannot in order to protect and serve others for no other reason than they feel it as their calling and their duty.

If there ever were those who could be rightly called imitators of Christ it would be those men and women of uniform who, in the deeper message of Christ, heard that call and found their place in the deeper sacrifices they have been willing to offer as they mark their words with their deeds and say they will give everything for the cause of freedom and liberty that the oppressed shall be ransomed and the persecuted shall be set free.

Let us never forget or undervalue that sacrifice. As dark as the world may, at times, get, as much chaos and pain may be waged in it, as much captivity and bondage as may come to it, it would be nothing but a drop in the bucket of a much worse, a much more wicked existence had it not been for the brave men and women who don their uniform, willing to give all that they are and all that they hope to be for that one great cause that they believe in.

What a blessing they truly are, what a blessed hope their lives become when we recognize the wondrous nature of the divine that pours forth from their hearts as their souls reach out to their fellow man in the love that they have for them. Let us always cherish that amidst our praises of God that He would send them to us in the love and the mercy of His wondrous ways.

Let us pray:

From you O Lord do all blessings flow, from you O Lord do we know that all of those who sacrifice all, those who are so willing to give of themselves, they come from you and they are of you, showing forth a divine nature, a divine mercy that can only come from your hands. We give you praise for them and for the sacrifices they have made in the cause of freedom and liberty, justice and equality, that slavery may be set to flight and persecution may be drawn to an end, that destitution and poverty may no longer wage a war on the souls of men. Though the work is not done, they still give so tirelessly of themselves that there may be a day when we may all rest.

Draw near to you then O Lord, all prisoners and hostages, all captives and slaves, setting to flight all unrighteousness and wickedness, so there will no longer be a need for such men and women, for there will be an encompassing peace and protection that can only come from your hands, that a greater sense of freedom and liberty, equality and justices comes to bear in the lives of your people, that no longer may the youth and the innocence be ripped away from them, that they may have the chance to live the lives they desire. And we pray these things, dear Lord, in the name of your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the kingdom, one God, world without end. Amen.

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