During my gym workouts I’ve been listening to a remarkable audiobook, Unbroken by Laura Hillebrand. (There’s a movie version as well, which I haven’t yet seen.) It’s the story of the late Louis Zamperini, an American Olympic miler who served in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War 2. After his plane went down on a rescue mission, he survived 47 days on a life raft before being captured by the Japanese and enduring unimaginable horrors in a prison camp.
Zamperini survived the war, to face new difficulties back home. His memories of the camp haunted him. His is a story of triumphant survival against all odds.
Reflecting on Zamperini’s story, and the story of many veterans I’ve known personally – including my own father, who was a tail gunner on a B-24 like Zamperini’s (but in Europe) – I’m aware of the incredible sacrifice these citizens made. Then, of course, there are those who didn’t return home. They gave their lives to preserve freedoms most of us take for granted.
This is Memorial Day weekend – not a date on the church’s liturgical calendar, but a day of national significance all the same. Continuing with our sermon series on 1 Corinthians 13, we’ll consider the line, “Love never ends.” It’s as appropriate verse to consider on Memorial Day weekend. The sacrificial love these members of the armed services showed for their country, and felt for their families back home, reflects a much greater love: the divine love that never ends.
I urge you to make worship a part of your Memorial Day weekend. Pause for a while, to give thanks, to reflect, to remember. Hope to see you there!