This past week, I officiated the funeral for a very close family friend who died last weekend. It was a one of the most difficult services I have done, but it was a tremendous honor for me to be involved in his service. Frank was not just a family friend, but he was one of those men in my life who helped shape me to be who I am today. I will always remember him joking with us, laughing with us, sharing stories about his daughters and the family business, and sharing about his adventures in the Vietnam War. From 1967-1969, Frank served in the Vietnam War and he would often share with us about what he saw. He was proud of his time served in the Army, and on Tuesday we celebrated his service to our country as he was laid to rest.
This weekend, our nation will pause for one day to remember all of our veterans who have served our country. Many of us have family members and close friends who have served. Some of you may have served. I believe Veterans Day is one of the most important days for our country because it gives us the opportunity to say “Thank You!” We enjoy the freedoms we have today — including our freedom to gather for worship — because of those who have served and are serving our country, and that service should never be taken for granted. I hope you will take a moment to show your appreciation for a veteran this weekend.
During our worship services this Sunday, we will have a special time of prayer as we celebrate our veterans and show recognition and appreciation for their service to our country. If you are a veteran, we would love the opportunity to recognize you and thank you. As a part of our prayer, we will also offer a blessing for those who are currently in military service. If you have a friend or loved one in military service, I hope you will be part of this special blessing.
As I have grown in my understanding of God’s grace, I have realized that freedom is never free — there is always a cost. In our faith, we celebrate that Jesus paid that cost for our spiritual freedom through his death on the cross. Because of Jesus, we are free from sin and free to live eternally, and this is our reason to worship. Similarly, the freedoms we enjoy in our society are the result of the sacrifice of many brave and women. And so with honor and gratitude in our hearts, we celebrate these veterans as we say “Thank you for your service!”
Have a great weekend and I look forward to being with you in worship at 8:45 and 11:00 this Sunday!
Grace and peace,
P.S. In a few short weeks, we will begin the season of Advent and our worship teams have already started preparation for what I believe will be an AMAZING Christmas at Royston. If you and your family would be interested in participating in one of our Sunday morning Advent readings, let me know by replying to this e-mail. We will have more information about some fun NEW events for Christmas and I am excited to share Christmas with you this year!