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Pursuing peace in the midst of chaos and fear


This Memorial Day, we give thanks for those who gave their lives for our country

May 25, 2020

Chaplain (CDR) Walter (Sonny) Dinkins, SOTF-SE Afghanistan leads a memorial service

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV).

Memorial Day calls us as individuals and as a nation to remember all who have died in military service to our country. Our Memorial Day dates to the Civil War, as mothers and widows, both north and south, decorated the graves of their loved ones who had perished. The 30th of May became the traditional date for remembrance. Now we remember our fallen on the final Monday of May.

Presbyterians pursue peace between and among all people in our communities and across the globe — a lasting peace, not as the world knows, but as God has given and called us to seek and to share.

As we observe Memorial Day this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, let us remember and be thankful for those throughout history who have sacrificed their lives in response to our nation’s call. During the 1918 flu pandemic, more military members died from disease than from combat in World War I. Even today, because of their dedication and service with honor, we continue to enjoy freedom to celebrate life, act freely, pursue justice and proclaim the Good News of the Gospel.

Informed by the selfless service of those we remember, may we increase our actions and efforts to bring unity and trust between and among all people regardless of our differences. Let us unite in Matthew 25-inspired ministries and use our gifts to complement the sacrifice of those who purchased and preserved our freedom.

May your Memorial Day 2020 be both a day of challenge and thanksgiving as together we pray for our leaders, engage the travails of these times and look forward to the promised peace of our Lord.

Lyman Smith, CAPT, CHC, USN, Retired, Director, Presbyterian Federal Chaplaincies


Today’s Focus:  Memorial Day

Let us join in prayer for: 

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Dawn Diggs, Presbyterian Foundation
Rebecca Dimon, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Let us pray:

Gracious God, we are grateful for those who gave their lives in hope of worldly peace and unity among humanity. Their service came not only at the cost of their future, but dramatically changed the lives of their families and loved ones as well.  With thankful hearts, we ask that you inspire each of us to use our gifts, our time, our talents and treasure to bring unity in the midst of diversity, and to proclaim and live out your peace that transcends the challenges of this current age. Amen.

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