As we near our country's Memorial Day celebration, I am reminded of a phrase that epitomizes the profound sense of loyalty we see among those who serve in the armed forces. The phrase, "I have your back," we believe, derives from the military.
You can't go through life without being hurt - or hurting others - in some way. Sometimes the hurt is severe and long-lasting; other times that hurt is relatively minor and transient. For Christians, the challenge is to forgive. And that can be difficult.
If you've grown up hearing Biblical stories, then you're certainly familiar with the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. My guess is that even those who didn't learn about Sodom and Gomorrah in religious studies or in church are at least familiar with the generalities of the account. After all, the word "sodomy," which has been adopted for common and legal use in English lexicon, is based on the events surrounding this story.
Christians can often feel as if the messages they receive from the prevalent culture are in opposition to the messages at the core of Christianity. In many ways, Jesus helps us understand who we are as Christians in the midst of these conflicting messages; He becomes our interpreter.
No pastor likes to see a divorce, though we certainly understand they are a reality of life. We are in good company as Jesus did as well. Still, we do all we can to care for those going through the difficulties associated with a disintegrating marriage - or any relationship, for that matter.
The Rev. P.H. Crumpler, a Methodist, is more or less given credit for forming the Effingham County Sunday School Association. It is said that at the close of Methodist Camp Meeting, he expressed a desire to invite other churches and Sunday Schools to join together for a meeting.
God does this incredible thing in churches. He always seems to make sure His places of worship have what they need to accomplish their mission - inside and outside their doors. And he does that through His people.
Last Tuesday, perhaps as many as eight individuals associated with the Islamic State brought about the deaths of 35 people by setting off two explosions in Brussels, Belgium. The blasts, which occurred in populated transportation locations, also injured more than 300 others.
In earlier columns, I have described the communication necessary before and during a marriage, and some of the important issues that should be on the table for discussion. But there is one associated factor that ought to be mentioned - one we pastors assume is taking place - when these discussions do occur.