I am so proud (happy, honored, indebted, fortunate) to be an American...except when I'm not. I am so proud (happy, honored, indebted, fortunate) to be a United Methodist...except when I'm not. I'm so proud (happy, honored, indebted, fortunate) to be a mother...except when I'm not.
In short, I realize that neither I nor my church nor my country (nor myself) is perfect. Both my church and my country are "pretty darn good places to be" and most of the people that I know that are associated with both are "pretty darn good people to know," but one of the most honest realizations of both of these institutions is their understanding that are not perfect and should not be followed blindly, without question. I hope that as a parent, pastor, and friend I also realize these things about myself.
Have you ever decided to write "thank you's" in a newsletter only to hear that you forgot someone? or to hear that "why did you thank this group of people and not that group of people"? I'm all for honoring people and thanking people. I really appreciate the kind of honoring and thanking that starts by having a gathered group where one or two are mentioned and they stand, then another group are honored and asked to stand, until everyone is honored and asked to stand.
I am grateful for all those who have served to protect our country. My father served in World War II, my mother stayed home and did all she could do to help, including helping on the family farm and working in a munitions pland testing the trigger devices on bombs. My husband served two terms in Viet Nam. All have shared stories about the dedicated and not so dedicated, the honoralbe and the not so honorable, the good and the damage accomplished.
Memorial Day is on a Monday. Our government has set aside a day (not a Sunday) to remember those who served. I would encourage you to attend services on Memorial Day.
Sunday, May 24, we will begin by honoring those men and women in our church whose names have been offered. We will sing some "patriotic hymns." Then we will move on to worship. We will hear the story of Philip helping the Ethiopian man understand the scriptures, a story of the church reaching out beyond its "national" borders.
Honoring men and women who have given their lives and time is a good thing. Remembering that our God is a God of all creation is a good thing.