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  • Pastor Linda Settles

Homeland

5/28/21


On Monday we will celebrate Memorial Day. Once known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a national American holiday. It marks a time when we pause to remember and celebrate the lives of soldiers who have died in the line of duty. It originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. It has become a time of visiting cemeteries, holding family gatherings, and memorials in order to remember their lives and their service. Memorial Day also signals the beginning of the summer season. And it does seem as though we went straight from winter to summer, does it not?


Our soldiers have made many sacrifices in the field, defending America and her related causes, including the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for the cause of freedom. For their homeland. So, we honor them. We remember them. Brave women and men from different races, creeds, and classes fighting together for a common cause. They died in battle, not seeing the promise of victory come to pass.


Christians are referred to as soldiers in the army of the Lord, fighting for the cause of Christ.


“Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer.”

2 Timothy 3-4, NRSV


And when you read Hebrews 11, you will find an account of soldiers of the faith who laid their lives on the line for their homeland as well. Another homeland, the one not made by hands…


“All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14 for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.”

Hebrews 11:13-16, NRSV


Spiritual warfare is about fighting for a homeland that you cannot see. Our true homeland, the better country, is in heaven. And we are all enlisted into active duty, for we are on the battlefield for our Lord!


We honor the memory of our soldiers – they died in faith, looking toward the promise of victory. We remember them at family gatherings, show their pictures, and tell their stories to our children and to their children. And we also honor the hall of faith soldiers - Abraham, Moses, Sunday School teachers, pastors, and all of those saints who died in faith, believing in the promise not yet received.


So we, the family of faith, should tell their stories to our children and grands (as Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us to do) and keep their memory alive as well. And let us not forget that we have been enlisted into this same army. May we be willing to lay our lives on the line for the cause of Christ, for the better country. And one day someone will tell our story…and the beat goes on.


This is the final part of our Family Conversations series: Homeland. To register for indoor worship, you can sign up at: On Monday we will celebrate Memorial Day. Once known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a national American holiday. It marks a time when we pause to remember and celebrate the lives of soldiers who have died in the line of duty. It originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. It has become a time of visiting cemeteries, holding family gatherings, and memorials in order to remember their lives and their service. Memorial Day also signals the beginning of the summer season. And it does seem as though we went straight from winter to summer, does it not?


Our soldiers have made many sacrifices in the field, defending America and her related causes, including the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for the cause of freedom. For their homeland. So, we honor them. We remember them. Brave women and men from different races, creeds, and classes fighting together for a common cause. They died in battle, not seeing the promise of victory come to pass.


Christians are referred to as soldiers in the army of the Lord, fighting for the cause of Christ.


“Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer.”

2 Timothy 3-4, NRSV


And when you read Hebrews 11, you will find an account of soldiers of the faith who laid their lives on the line for their homeland as well. Another homeland, the one not made by hands…


“All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14 for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.”

Hebrews 11:13-16, NRSV


Spiritual warfare is about fighting for a homeland that you cannot see. Our true homeland, the better country, is in heaven. And we are all enlisted into active duty, for we are on the battlefield for our Lord!


We honor the memory of our soldiers – they died in faith, looking toward the promise of victory. We remember them at family gatherings, show their pictures, and tell their stories to our children and to their children. And we also honor the hall of faith soldiers - Abraham, Moses, Sunday School teachers, pastors, and all of those saints who died in faith, believing in the promise not yet received.


So we, the family of faith, should tell their stories to our children and grands (as Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us to do) and keep their memory alive as well. And let us not forget that we have been enlisted into this same army. May we be willing to lay our lives on the line for the cause of Christ, for the better country. And one day someone will tell our story…and the beat goes on.


This is the final part of our Family Conversations series: Homeland. To register for indoor worship, you can sign up atOn Monday we will celebrate Memorial Day. Once known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a national American holiday. It marks a time when we pause to remember and celebrate the lives of soldiers who have died in the line of duty. It originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. It has become a time of visiting cemeteries, holding family gatherings, and memorials in order to remember their lives and their service. Memorial Day also signals the beginning of the summer season. And it does seem as though we went straight from winter to summer, does it not?


Our soldiers have made many sacrifices in the field, defending America and her related causes, including the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for the cause of freedom. For their homeland. So, we honor them. We remember them. Brave women and men from different races, creeds, and classes fighting together for a common cause. They died in battle, not seeing the promise of victory come to pass.


Christians are referred to as soldiers in the army of the Lord, fighting for the cause of Christ.


“Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer.”

2 Timothy 3-4, NRSV


And when you read Hebrews 11, you will find an account of soldiers of the faith who laid their lives on the line for their homeland as well. Another homeland, the one not made by hands…


“All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14 for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.”

Hebrews 11:13-16, NRSV


Spiritual warfare is about fighting for a homeland that you cannot see. Our true homeland, the better country, is in heaven. And we are all enlisted into active duty, for we are on the battlefield for our Lord!


We honor the memory of our soldiers – they died in faith, looking toward the promise of victory. We remember them at family gatherings, show their pictures, and tell their stories to our children and to their children. And we also honor the hall of faith soldiers - Abraham, Moses, Sunday School teachers, pastors, and all of those saints who died in faith, believing in the promise not yet received.


So we, the family of faith, should tell their stories to our children and grands (as Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us to do) and keep their memory alive as well. And let us not forget that we have been enlisted into this same army. May we be willing to lay our lives on the line for the cause of Christ, for the better country. And one day someone will tell our story…and the beat goes on.


This is the final part of our Family Conversations series: Homeland. To register for indoor worship, you can sign up at: https://rsvp.church/r/gVufUAP4 . You can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.


Our leadership board, in conjunction with the reopening team, have decided to lift the mask mandate for those who are fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated, you may choose to wear your mask in worship or not, depending on your own comfort level. Those who are not fully vaccinated, and children who are not vaccinated, should continue to wear masks. Our ultimate goal is to do no harm, so if you are not feeling well, we are trusting that you will worship with us online. We will continue to socially distance and take reservations for worship, and we are increasing our capacity to 50!


Please know that our decisions are in the best interest of the entire congregation at this time, and the reopening team and Leadership Board will continue to reevaluate as the summer goes along. We will continue to provide a quality online worship experience as well!


May God bless you and keep you as you pause to remember on this Memorial Day!


Blessings,

Pastor Linda.

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