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Chappy’s corner “Burying their differences!”

Shortly after a brand new Lutheran minister was installed in his church he received a call from the local Baptist minister.  The Baptist minister needed to be out of town, but one of his members had just died and he was wondering if the Lutheran pastor would do the funeral.  The new minister replied, “Well I need to check with my bishop first to see if I could do that!” so he called his supervising bishop and asked, “Is it okay for me to bury a Baptist?”  The bishop replied, “Certainly, bury as many Baptists as you can!

That story illustrates two points of view.  One is to provide ministry to those who may not always agree with you and the other is to get rid of the opposition.

Sadly we do see many folks disliking other groups because they are not the same as us.  Sometimes that dislike grows into a hatred that can lead to violence and even the loss of life.   Right now somewhere in this world there are people fighting with other people. They may be fighting over economics, religion, living standards or just about anything. The fighting could have been going on for generations.  When we hear such fighting going on, people often ask “Why can’t these nations get along? Why are they always fighting?”  To those comments my answer is, “They fight for the same reason there is fighting in your home, in your family and in your community. They fight because of sin.”  A fellow pastor said, “If you want to see how wars start just place a single toy in between two preschool kids and see how a war erupts.” By nature we are selfish self centered people who want things done our way and if not we get upset and angry with those who don’t agree with us.  So instead of burying our differences, we hold on to our grudges, we seek revenge, we want to get even.

Jesus was different. Instead of hating his enemies, he prayed for them, “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” Those words Jesus spoke as Roman soldiers nailed him to the cross. They were doing their job; but so was Jesus.  His job was to save the world, and He did it by His sacrifice on the cross. In the Christian faith we see Jesus sacrifice as the way we have freedom from sin and death.

This 4th of July we celebrate our nation’s freedom as we celebrate may we give thanks for all those who have sacrificed their lives for us to have all the freedoms we have in this land… and may we also pray that in this great country we may see an end to the prejudice and bigotry that divides people and instead hopefully see each person as being “created equal and that their creator gave them certain unalienable Rights, that include Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..”

 

That’s just my thoughts from this patriotic SE corner of South Dakota!

CH (COL) David Gunderson

JFHQ SDARNG