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Sacrificing for others

Commentary

Sacrifice is a keep element to consider as we come to another Memorial Day. As we remember those who sacrificed to serve our nation in conflict and gave their all, we also remember others who sacrificed. Now we also use this time to remember our loved ones who have died. May we also remember the sacrifices they made in their lives for us and others.

People sacrificing their lives for others is a part of our lives at this time. The news and even commercials speak about all the heroes around us. We easily think of our Military personnel and First Responders. Now we add all the Medical personnel, some unsung heroes like Corrections Officers, and others who are all called to put themselves in harm’s way, doing their duty, amid the threat of an unseen enemy.

Thinking of their sacrifice let us not fail to see how all of us are also making many sacrifices in how we live today. We are sacrificing various freedoms, dealing with inconvenient and even uncomfortable things so that we can do our part in fighting the attacking virus. Our sacrifice is nothing new. Through the centuries people have been called to fight in similar battles. Martin Luther had advice for those of his day in dealing with the black plague. Advice that sounds very similar to what we are doing today. He mentions taking medicine, avoiding people and places so as not to become contaminated and thus infect others (social distancing?), praying for God’s protection, but also through it all not being afraid to help our neighbors when they need it.

The motivation behind Luther’s words and the actions of all Christians today is also tied to sacrifice. The sacrifice God made for us to fight another “unseen enemy”: sin and its eternally deadly consequences. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, came into our world as a human being. He took on our sins and carried them to the cross. In His innocent suffering and death He has gained the victory for us and all who trust in His saving work. We have no doubt concerning that victory because Jesus has risen from the dead. He is alive! He has conquered death and freely gives us the gift of life that is ours forever.

To learn more about trusting Jesus’ sacrifice and receiving His help to live sacrificial lives that help others, please contact St. Paul Lutheran Church, Fredonia (672-6731 or stpaullcfredonia@outlook.com), Immanuel Lutheran Church, Gowanda (532-4342), or Trinity Lutheran Church, Silver Creek (934-2002).

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