First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Jesus is Missing.

March 13, 2017

    Yesterday, we took a trip up the mountain to visit the Boalsburg Military Museum. The historical artifacts are diverse and the guided tours really fill in much detail. The tactical gear, guns, and vehicles that have been used down through the years are fascinating.  Military technology has developed far beyond what we saw displayed in the rooms of the museum. There were a few things I noticed that probably will never change however.

1. Duty, Honor, and Country are things that never get set aside for the soldier. They serve to protect.

2. The reverence I felt for soldiers who have defended our country over the years was evident. I felt thankful (maybe 'overwhelmed' is a better word) that so many gave (give) their lives to keep our country free.

    After touring the displays, we hit the gift shop and purchased some take home items, then went outside to walk the paths to each memorial. I was especially taken with the hollow obelisk which included wind chimes softly ringing and above them, the dogtags of the fallen, were swaying in the breeze.  Sorrow and sadness 'overwhelmed' my heart to think of the families who had to say goodbye too soon. So, it was with great concern and outrage, when I saw many of the memorials had been vandalized.

While it may seem insignificant, the initials and scratches intentionally scrawled across these sacred places is reprehensible. I said in disgust, "WHO would do this?" Apparently, it was someone who is missing Jesus in their heart. In the short walk around these World War I plaques, a fair number of them had been defaced and anyone who had Jesus in their hearts would have never dreamed of vandalizing them much less touch them.  Here is why I can say this with some level of confidence.

    "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." (Romans 12:9-10, NIV)

    Most of Paul's writings in the New Testament were written and sent to believers in Jesus. These were letters to the churches. The commands that Paul offered were directed at women and men who understood the grace and mercy of God through Christ and who had allowed Christ to enter their hearts.

    Often, we mistake the scriptures to be written solely for all of humanity (they are written for the whole of humanity to use to understand the nature of God). The original audience in Paul's letters however was not to the unchurched or the unsaved. In fact, one could argue that unchurched and unsaved people would have laughed off these letters of instruction. Some actually did (Acts 26:24-28). The context of scripture is important for us. It instructs and corrects. It teaches and sometimes rebukes us. 

    Those who vandalized memorials and knock over tombstones don't know Jesus nor His justice against injustice. Otherwise, they would understand respect for others comes from respecting Jesus.

    "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." (Ephesians 5:21, NIV)

When humanity receives Jesus into their hearts, only then, will the world turn away from disrespect and destruction of the very fabric of freedom and liberty.  If Jesus is missing in you, please seek Him. When you connect with and (revere) Jesus, you'll automatically become better, dare I say:

*brand new

*respectful

*caring

*loving

*Christ-like

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