ALL IS NOT LOST
A life of "meaning" by today's standard, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote to begin 2015, "is flabby and vacuous, the product of a culture that has grown inarticulate about inner life." Brooks' words still ring true - most Americans don't give much thought to their spiritual condition, or give it only a passing consideration, at best.
Even the Western church has largely found itself asleep at the wheel over the last 30+ years on issues of reaching the lost, hurting, castoff and fringe elements of society. But Jesus didn't overlook anyone and reserved his most serious rebuke for the religious leaders of his day who haggled over rules. Many are those who only share God's love with those who agree with their theological or political views.
I’ve served two tours in the Middle East and I am moved to action by religious discrimination directed at me or any other Americans - freedom of worship is a principle guaranteed by the Constitution, which all service members protect by their oath.
Until recently, some religious professionals in the Armed Forces have felt pressure to water down their message so as not to become offensive, with critics citing the principal of separation of church and state.
As an Army Chaplain I hold dear our commitment to "cooperate without compromise" with those of a different tradition, but in the pulpit I preach Christ crucified and resurrected. All is not lost - Jesus is our last, greatest, and only hope!
Remember that "where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2nd Corinthians 3:17). Don't take lightly your freedom to worship as a source of forgiveness, confidence, strength, courage, wisdom, prayer, compassion, and fellowship with other believers - it is a source of certainty in an increasingly uncertain world.
Leader Prayer: Lord God, we often take for granted the gifts you've given us. In this holy season leading to Easter, may we turn our backs from our own selfish desires and turn our face to you, to your will, to your way, and to your Son - to your glory!