Rev. James NS Kollie-Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Cotton Tree, Liberia
CROSS Appeal - Update
On June 19, 2014, Lance Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter
received the Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is the
highest military decoration, awarded by Congress to a member
of the armed forces for gallantry and bravery in combat at the
risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.In 2010; Lance
Corporal Carpenter and a fellow Marine were manning a rooftop
security position on the perimeter of Patrol Base Dakota when
the enemy initiated a daylight attack with hand grenades, one of
which landed inside their sandbagged position. Without hesitation, and with complete disregard for his own safety, Lance Corporal Carpenter moved toward the grenade in an attempt to shield his fellow Marine from the deadly blast. Lance Corporal Carpenter sustained several injuries to his body, but one part of his body was untouched. On his arm, was tattooed the words from Psalm 144; "Blessed be the Lord my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle."
On July 4, we join with our fellow citizens to celebrate our Independence Day.
Because of people like Lance Corporal Carpenter and many more brave men and women who have served and many who have given their life, we are a free nation. Even more importantly, as people of God, we have been set free from the tyranny of sin and Satan. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ laid down His life that we may have life. Now at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we were baptized into Christ’s death. We still struggle with sin and temptation, but by the power of the cross, our sins are forgiven. We are citizens of heaven. We give thanks for the opportunity to live in a nation where we have the freedom to worship. I know those freedoms are challenged by those who live as enemies of the cross. We see the evidence that our nation is becoming more and more secular. The institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman was amended to include same sex couples. But why should this surprise us? The devil has always had his insurgents throwing grenades into our world. The enemy seems to be more and more brazen in their attacks on God’s Word. We are called to be faithful. The victory is already ours.God says, in Romans, that we are “More than conquerors”. There isn’t anything in all of creation that can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As we celebrate freedoms as a nation, recognize the ultimate freedoms that are ours because of the sacrifice of our Savior on the cross of Calvary. Jesus threw Himself into this world, became flesh and blood, willingly, to be cursed so that we could be redeemed. Today, we have the opportunity to live to His honor. May everything in us, sing His praise. To God be the glory!