This weekend is Memorial Day.
Under normal circumstances extended families and friends would be planning to gather together to have BBQ’s, play yard games, splash around in the pool, and generally enjoy a long weekend.
I am sure that some of you will continue to do some of that this weekend, although likely not quite the same as most years.
I hope that this year, a year where we have been asked to be more socially distant and make sacrifices we’ve never done before, that you remember that Memorial Day is much more than cookouts and a day off from work.
There is meaning to this day; a sacred and Holy meaning to this day. A sacredness that almost always gets lost in the fun, laughter, and sun.
The three main days we remember our service men and women are Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, and Veteran’s day.
Armed Forces Day, the third Saturday of May, honors all the men and women currently serving. You likely saw flags flying across La Junta and the Arkansas Valley this May. Did you pause and give thanks to our men and women on active duty, here and deployed, our reservist and national guardsmen and woman?
Veteran’s Day is the 11th day of November and it is for each of us honoring those who have served. Every man and woman who stepped forward when so many stepped back; men and women who we owe so much to. We pause in our country to give thanks to all the men and women, and their families, who have sacrificed so much. I have been honored to participate in the La Junta Veteran’s Day service since my appointment here. It is a highlight and honor each year for me.
This weekend is Memorial Day, which is recognized on the last Monday of May. This weekend honors all the men and women who have died while serving; giving their all. Will you please join me in honoring these heroes? While you gather in whatever capacity you choose during this pandemic, will you pause and give thanks and verbalize and externalize your deep appreciation.
Our scripture reading today, sometimes called the Soldiers Psalm, reminds us to trust in God. The problem though, is that war is hell. Psalm 91 doesn’t tell the whole picture, it’s more of a snapshot of a bigger point found in the Psalms. The reminder of Psalm 91 is that God will keep us safe from the biggest problems we will encounter.
Like many of you, I remember growing up watching TV and movies that glorified war. They rarely showed how brutal and destructive war actually is and rarely gave us a look into the sacrifice of the individual. However, anyone who has seen the beginning of Saving Private Ryan or the battles in Black Hawk Down can begin to at least appreciate how terrifying and horrifying war is, even if we can never actually understand.
Memorial Day is a day we should (must) pause and acknowledge the sacrifice these men and women have made. Let me give you some context of how many American’s have died in conflicts in defense of our country’s interests.
In the Civil War, there were almost 500,000 casualties. World War II saw nearly 300,000 men and women lost to war. We lost almost 60,000 men and women in the Vietnam War. I can’t say it enough, war is hell.
While I’m not sure we can ever begin to wrap our head around the sheer loss of life resulting in these and other conflicts; Memorial Day is an important reminder that we can’t let their sacrifices be forgotten to the annals of time.
Will you join me this weekend to pause and remember the men and women in your family and in this community, who sacrificed all. We can’t speak about our freedoms we enjoy without honoring those who died in defense of them.
May we get to a point where we remember these heroes more than just one day in May, perhaps every day, rather than simply as a side note to cookouts, yard games, and family get together.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
We are meeting at 11:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Fellowship Hall.
We will take July 28 through August 25 off. Stay tuned for our new study coming in September.
Join us on the Second Sunday of every month, with the exception of September, 2021, when our potluck will be on September 26 in conjunction with Church in the Park.
Military Appreciation Breakfast
Third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m.:
Veterans and Active Military and their Significant Others, join us for a hearty breakfast as we share our appreciatoin for your service.
United Methodist Women Monthly Meeting:
Third Thursday of every month: August 19, September 16, October 21, November 18
United Methodist Men's Monthly Breakfast:
*Postponed Until Further Notice
Tuesday: 8-12 am
Wednesday: 8-11 am
Thursday: 8-11 am
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
Facebook: La Junta United Methodist Church
Or use our contact form.
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