Last night (UK time) I added a back-to-front piece about Love and Freedom. That came from Don Merritt’s beautiful and simple posts on covenants. This morning I found ChapLynne had added a post with an identical message as Don. Hoorah!
It is another beautiful and timely teaching. This one “front-to-back”. Below is a copy/paste of a taster. The link to the “whole” follows underneath …
“I was raised in a fairly restricted, evangelical household. When I answered the call to the chaplaincy, I encountered dozens of other men and women of faith. I disagreed with most of them. Many more found me untenable, being a woman minister. As I prayed for wisdom to work with the disparate factions of Us-Them attitudes, I discovered the presence of evil among military members—gang members, who then served the military and tried to exercise their gang-ties within the command; prejudice against Filipino sailors, African-American sailors, Jewish personnel, people with Muslim names or appearance, woman sailors etc; evidence of Satanic worship—candles, upside-down pentagrams, blood sacrifices; and enmity between sailors for whatever reasons.
Suddenly, I realized the enemy of God surrounded us. We gathered as chaplains with our disparate beliefs discovering that we had more in common than we realized. Differences dimmed in the face of the horrible things we faced each day on behalf of the sailors entrusted to us. The military celebrated the Four Chaplains Memorial—a tribute to four different men of faith, who gave their life preservers to sailors and died when the ship sank. Four Army chaplains brought hope in despair and light in darkness. Those chaplains were Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed.
Today’s lessons call us to bring unity—avoiding arrogant displays of us-them among believers. We must fight against prejudice and divisions. That doesn’t mean we can’t hold different beliefs, but we cannot assume that our perspective is the only true vision of God.”
All I want to add is this: let us keep connecting, let us keep focusing on unity, let us stay Loved and Free. It is what God wants. And is so liberating!
No “God bless you” from me. Simply because God has blessed you and me already. For free.