Cinderella is to blame. If she hadn’t married the prince and ridden off into the sunset to live happily ever after, we probably wouldn’t be so fascinated with the handsome young prince with multiple names and the beautiful princess or duchess who were married last week. Harry and Meggun, as the priest pronounced it, have given us a front row to something very special and I, for one, am grateful for the gentle reminder that young people still fall madly in love and commit themselves to marriage.
Every time I watch the video (I’m up to six times already for some segments) I am moved by how they can’t stop smiling and looking adoringly at each other! I’ve listened to Ben E. King sing Stand By Me at least 329 times but what the Kingdom Choir did with it Saturday had to be what God intended when marriage was dreamed up. The production was flawless. From Prince Charles escorting the amazingly composed Meghan and her mom, the scriptures and readings, the Bishop’s stirring sermon on the redemptive power of love, to the well behaved little people—this magical moment offered a brief respite from government investigations, trash talking, police/school shootings, elections, political jockeying, agendas that divide, unstable markets, heartless deportations, and rumors of wars. Harry and Meghan are concrete proof that love can build a bridge and yes, it’s time we got our own hammers and nails and got busy building some of our own.
And lest we forget the reason for the season…
As Memorial Day 2018 quickly approaches, please take time and remember our fallen heroes in a meaningful way. I poignantly remember October 8, 1968 when Vietnam became more than a foreign place we heard about on the evening news. Corporal R.T. Perry from my hometown was killed and almost 50 years later, I still remember the tremendous loss we felt along with his family. The devastation was real and it seemed to permeate every corner of our small church and community. During my first visit to Washington, DC, I proudly saw his name inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and was delighted to see him remembered in this significant way.
Our military families and communities are shattered whenever a “routine” mission becomes anything but routine and soldiers are killed or die in battle for freedoms we often take for granted. Please pause today and pray for our soldiers and their families because serving often means frequent and extended deployments, life-changing injuries, post-traumatic stress syndrome, higher rates of divorce, and the list goes on.
The familiar line “all gave some, but some gave all” must be our clarion call today to (1) pray for peace everywhere,(2) do all we can to elect officials who will study war no more, (3) provide more comprehensively for our widows and orphans, (4) offer intentional support to our first responders and chaplains who care for our families, (5) tell our heroes’ stories and keep their memory alive, and (6) celebrate and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you to our soldiers and their families. We owe you a debt we can never repay. Amen.
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