Pastor Jerry Kulp
November 12, 2020
46 Mary responded,
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. 50 He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. 51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. 52 He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. 54 He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. 55 For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”
Greetings my friends!
I wanted to remind everyone of Mary’s “Magnificat”. These words have touched many hearts over the years as they remind us of God’s continuing care and love for us all. Today, I share these words with you as I have witnessed a “siege” of Christmas decorations adorning homes. I share these words to remind us all how our Lord has promised to “leave no one behind.”
Yesterday our country remembered Veteran’s Day. I take a moment now to say, “thank you!” to all our veterans. Thank you for your service and your willingness to defend our values and freedoms.
When I served in the Army, one of the very early instructions that I and all my colleagues were constantly reminded of was that in the Army we leave nobody behind on the battlefield. That regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the risks, that we would not be forgotten. I know all these years later what I am about to share may seem a little bit silly… But…. These words and this thought truly inspired me. Those thoughts gave me a sense of security that regardless of what situation I might face in the future, I would not be left behind, and I pledged myself to leave nobody else behind.
Prisoners of War from past conflicts often commented in the aftermath of being taken prisoner that the one thing that inspired hope within them was that our country would not leave anyone behind on the battlefield. In other words, this simple and direct teaching inspired these prisoners of war to survive another day.
I think God works like this!
God leaves nobody behind! God never forgets us as individuals!
As God’s children we have the wonderful opportunity to emulate God’s desires. Friends and family from our past are not truly “left behind” we carry them in our memories and our hearts into our present remembering the wonderful ways in which they impacted our lives.
And in some cases, we get to more tangibly “leave nobody behind!” When we visit people we love in rest facilities, when we participate in ministries that feed the poor, when we stand up for people within our midst who have been marginalized. In these and so many other ways we have opportunities to share with others that indeed they have not been left behind.
Today I share two such stories with you.
Our “Bringing it Home!” ministry is beginning within our community. Sisters and brothers in Christ who don’t have technology in their homes and have been unable to attend in person worship in some cases for over a decade, have suddenly had the opportunity to actively participate in our worship celebrations through the use of these cellular devices and our “Live streaming” worship. The joy, the happiness, the feelings of once again belonging, having not be forgotten, has been powerful to witness! God’s mighty arm has done tremendous things! All our hearts should be filled with joy and praise!
In another story, a young man was in a tragic accident and doctors told his family that he was very near death and would more than likely not recover. The family began praying to God for healing and restoration and asked their friends, family, and churches to do the same. Today, this young man is on the road to recovery. While not all prayers are answered with almost miraculous results, you and I know that God hears all our prayers. In the aftermath of this event the family has a more definite vision of God not leaving anyone behind.
I share these reflections with all of you to remind us all that amid the chaos of this world. Amid anger, violence, and oppression. Amid changing times and changing seasons, our Lord has not forgotten us, and we will not be left behind!
As God’s children living in the year of our Lord 2020 we would do well not only to remember that we as individuals will not be left behind, that we as a community will not be left behind, but also that we actively join God in sharing with others in the world that indeed they have not been left behind because we have a God who has always been there for Her/His children and remembered to be merciful. For God has made these promises to our ancestors, to us, and to future generations!
Until next time!
Trust God, keep washing those hands, and be at peace my friends! PJ