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Pastor’s Corner Rev. Dr. Paul Knupp Jr., Interim pastor, Peace United Church of Christ Gladbrook, Iowa

June 1, 2018
Northern-Sun Print
What is the Christian approach to war and casualties, especially in the US? First it is one of gratitude. People have given up their lives for me. We didn’t know each other, I didn’t ask them to die for me, but they did nonetheless. Gratitude! When someone makes the ultimate sacrifice of their own life, they give up all they will ever be, own, or belong. Christ said this is the greatest thing a person can do, ‘Give up his life for his friends” (Jn. 10).In addition, gratitude to those who served. They could have been killed, they risked their lives. We occasionally call attention to killing, but not usually, we usually honor those who have died. Roughly 1,264,000 American soldiers have died in the nation’s wars—620,000 in the Civil War and 644,000 in all other conflicts. It was only as recently as the Vietnam War that the amount of American deaths in foreign wars eclipsed the number who died in the Civil War. Where did these soldiers go? They went to heaven, not in the Muslim martyrs’ sense, but in the Christian sense of sacrificing oneself for others; we honor their sacrifice. On Sunday, May 27, Memorial Sunday, Peace Church honored all our soldiers with a special celebratory liturgy. Our liturgy included flags for the children, poppies for all, “Come Visit My Grave,” read by Dick Denbow, “Poppy for Remembrance, and Poppy for Sacrifice,” read by Rose Russell, the reading of every veterans name, the musical theme of each service branch, and the sermon was General McArthur’s farewell address to West Point on May 12, 1962. We honored our soldiers, as we always do at Peace UCC. It was and is our Christian duty. A free brunch followed. We like to eat well on special occasions. Come join us sometime.


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