LOVE IS THE ANSWER!
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LOVE IS THE ANSWER!

SLEEPY HOLLOW LAKE
MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE
ATHENS, NY
Sunday, 29 MAY 1994 at 4:00 PM

PARTICIPANTS IN THE SERVICE:
Nancy and Al Harradine - Scripture and Word
A. J. Harradine - Music
Tom Jenkins - Scripture Reading
Frank L. Hoffman - Pastoral Prayer and Word
The hearts, souls, and voices of others

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES:

Leviticus 19:18
Deuteronomy 6:5
Isaiah 11:6-9
Matthew 6:10, 12
Romans 12:9-21
Ephesians 4:1-6

WELCOME:

GATHERING SONG: Blowing In the Wind

THE REASON FOR THE GATHERING:

The main reason, the most important reason, and the reason we so often forget about in our celebration of Memorial Day, is that we are to remember this day and the horrors of war, so that we would never have to go through such times again.

We are to remember those who suffered and died, and pray that the Lord our God would give us the wisdom to prevent the same fate from harming any more of our people or others around the world.

Here at Sleepy Hollow we have a world in microcosm.

We are a blending of peoples of many ethnic groups, and according to a survey we did several years ago, from nearly 50 nations.

We came here looking for a better place to live and relax.

We came here looking for a place to live out our hopes and desires.

And it is such a place, but like the struggle of our nation, we too, had our wars.

Our wars weren't fought with guns; they were financial and emotional wars, but we nevertheless suffered many casualties; for more than 600 families lost their investment and property.

So, as we celebrate this Memorial Day, let us pray for both our nation and Sleepy Hollow, that we would all learn from our past mistakes and resolve in our hearts and souls to do everything in our power to prevent them from reoccurring.

INVOCATION:

HYMN: Faith of Our Fathers

SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 11:6-9

6. And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,

And the leopard will lie down with the kid,

And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;

And a little boy will lead them.

7. Also the cow and the bear will graze;

Their young will lie down together;

And the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8. And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,

And the weaned child will put his hand on the viperís den.

9. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,

For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord

As the waters cover the sea.

HOMILY:

We, like the young children in Isaiah's vision, must learn to live in peace with all of God's creation.

And we, like the animals, must learn not to devour our neighbors, but to live in peace with them all, no matter what they may have been like in the past.

The Lord didn't give this vision to Isaiah because it was an impossibility, but on the contrary, because it was going to happen and so that we would not lose hope, and sincerely do everything in our power to bring it to pass in the here and now.

For indeed, one day, they will not hurt or destroy in all of God's holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

And God gave us the two greatest commandments; if we follow them, we can see the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophesy.

The greatest of these is from Deuteronomy 6:5.

5. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might.

And the second commandment is like it, and is found in Leviticus 19:18.

18. ...you shall love your neighbor as yourself...

If we truly loved God and each other, we could never do anything to harm anyone or anything, could we?

In the Gospel of Matthew is recorded an example of prayer that Jesus gave His disciples in answer to their question of how to pray. (Matthew 6:9-13)

In part it says, "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."

In other words, we are praying, "Lord, don't forgive me, unless I forgive others first."

If we truly love someone, we will see beyond their trespasses to the person God desires them to be; for this is part of love.

And let us not forget an earlier part of the prayer, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

On earth as it is in heaven?

Yes, that is exactly what God means.

We indeed can have heaven here on earth, if we work together to achieve it.

But it begins with our letting God's will be done here on earth.

And that will is that we love unconditionally, and are filled with sensitivity and compassion for the whole of creation.

Let us resolve to truly love one another as God loves us.

Amen.

HYMN: Prayer of St. Francis

SCRIPTURE READING AND WORD: Ephesians 4:1-6

1. I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

2. with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love,

3. being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

4. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

5. one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6. one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

If we look around the world, and even in our microcosm community, do we see the signs of our truly loving one another?

Do we truly have patience with one another, and do everything we can to preserve unity and peace?

If our answers are, "No", then we need to do everything in our power to bring these words to a reality, and encourage other to do the same until our answers are a resounding "Yes!"

And we can never do this through force of arms or violence; we can only achieve this with love.

HYMN: America The Beautiful

SCRIPTURE READING AND WORD: Romans 12:9-21

9. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.

10. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

11. not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;

12. rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,

13. contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

14. Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not.

15. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

16. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.

17. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

18. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

19. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

20. "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."

21. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Do we live this way?  At all times?  In every way?

If our answer is no, then we need to rethink the way we live.

We bring no honor to those who have died for peace, if we pile up more dead bodies and distruction in the process.

We honor them, when we do everything in our power to preserve the peace they died for, and do everything we can to prevent the horrible violence from ever happening again.

HYMN: America

CLOSING PRAYER AND BENEDICTION:

RESPONSE OF THE PEOPLE: Amazing Grace

Your Comments are welcome

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