Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” Matthew 13:44-52 

On this Memorial Day 2016, I remember my father, Commander Donald K. Theobald, USN, who served in the Second World War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He was a chaplain to many service personnel who never returned home. My father, and each of those men and women who served, understood the treasure they had in their freedom and in their country. They served and honored each of us by their sacrifice. My Dad was a Presbyterian Minister, who taught us the priceless nature of our faith by his life and witness. He understood that everyone was priceless to God,and everyone was never far from that saving and transforming love. No greater gift can a father or mother give to their children.

Today, Jesus is teaching about the realm of God. He wants them to understand that what God values is each of us, and that God seeks out the entirety of humanity, even when we try to stay hidden in our sorrows and fears. God invites us today to see that the sacrifice of Jesus was for all, and for all generations.

I ask God to give me the courage to follow those who sacrifice themselves for God's justice and freedom. May we live like those before us who, not thinking of our selves, but of the generations to come, go out on a limb and live for the healing, freedom and transformation of our world.

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