Honoring Our Heroes
This weekend, our nation remembers with gratitude those who have served and sacrificed for our freedom. That is certainly appropriate.
For a number of years, St. Lorenz has hosted a “Patriotic Praise in the Park” service to publicly acknowledge those from our congregation and community who have served in the armed forces or as first responders. We refer to those women and men as heroes. That is also appropriate.
Here is one definition of the word hero that I came across some time ago: Heroes are people who put themselves at risk for the benefit of others. They are selfless.
Does that sound like anyone you know? The first One to fit that definition who comes to my mind is Jesus. He is our Hero, with a capital “H.” He not only put His life at risk, He willingly sacrificed His life for the benefit of others. Talk about heroism: what people fear most, Jesus faced willingly. He attacked death by submitting to it. He then defeated death by breaking free of its hold on Him. Heroes are people who put themselves at risk for the benefit of others. They are selfless. I'd say Jesus meets those qualifications – and then some. He, above all others, is worthy of praise. He, above all others, we will honor this weekend.
We will also honor other heroes – those who have risked (and sometimes sacrificed) their lives for our country. That’s what our Patriotic Praise service seeks to do.
This year, of course, we have become aware of other people who are heroes, namely medical personnel who have been on the front lines of the pandemic. Our country’s police officers have also acted heroically in the face of chaos and opposition. On the other end of that spectrum, those peaceful protestors who are speaking out against racial injustice or gross misconduct by some in police departments or other agencies are also taking risks for the benefit of others. That would also qualify as heroic, in my estimation.
The Patriotic Praise service seeks to honor our heroes, all of them. I'd ike to suggest that another way to do that is to imitate the good and brave things such heroes have done, to live our lives in a way that gives glory to our Hero and which seeks to serve others, maybe at some risk or cost to ourselves.
By the way – this year’s Patriotic Praise will take place at the Memorial Park Palmer Schau Platz in order to allow for more people to attend and still practice safe distancing, as we can spread out on the hill. The service will begin at 10am on Sunday, July 5. Handicapped parking and seating are at the top of the hill, where chairs will be set up. All others are asked to park off Tuscola Road between Blessed Trinity and the Rose Garden. You will also want to bring a chair or blanket on which to sit.