Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Reflection - Four Men Who Served Well

Friday, August 28, 2009, was filled with sadness.
Four men were eulogized by their families and friends and the world already
misses them.

Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009)

United States Senator from Massachusetts for 47 years and a member of the Democratic Party, played a major role in passing more than 300 bills, including laws addressing immigration, cancer research, health insurance, apartheid, disability discrimination, AIDS care, civil rights, mental health benefits, children's health insurance, education and volunteering. In the 2000s, he led several unsuccessful immigration reform efforts.

The Rev. Robert E. Grimm, (May 1, 1922 – August 17, 2009)
Buffalo, New York

He pushed for understanding and cooperation among people of various faiths in Western New York. Ordained in 1949 in the Congregational Church, now known as the United Church of Christ. He was always a person who wanted to bring people together.
Passionate about peace and justice “He was a very energetic and faithful Christian in terms of both doing justice and loving kindness in his walk with God. He said “I personally am committed to this because I believe the church always has to be involved in building community. My theory about one church is not one church, but somehow out of our diversity, we learn to respect one another and be supportive of one another.”

Lieutenant Charles (Chip) McCarthy and Fire Fighter Jonathan Croom
Buffalo, New York

They lost their lives this week while fighting a fire. Monday was a day of great tragedy and loss for the brave men and women of the Buffalo Fire Department. They responded to their call to duty and did what every fire fighter does every day – sought to protect anyone who might be in danger. We honor the memory of these true heroes.

The motto of the Buffalo Fire Department is -
UT VIVANT ALII - So Others May Live

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


On Friday I attended the memorial services for Rev. Grimm and Jonathan Croom. I also viewed the service for Senator Kennedy on television, and read about Lt. McCarthy in the newspaper.

I was struck by the similarities of these four amazing men. They loved their families and were wonderful role models, leaving a legacy for future generations. Their dreams will live on in the lessons that they gave to their children.

I pray that we, also, can follow their example and try to make a difference in this world.

Their private, personal lifestyles that flowed out spontaneously and naturally, often in unrecorded, unacknowledged, even unremembered acts of kindness. Family and friends related memories of their numerous acts of humanity.

As I gave thought to the events of this week the following passages from the Bible came to my mind:

Matthew 25: 35 - 40

“I was hungry, and you fed me: thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you received me into your home,
I was naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you took care of me: I was in prison, and you visited me.”

The righteous will then answer him, when, Lord, did we ever see you hungry, and feed you? Or thirsty, and give you a drink?
When did we see you a stranger, and welcome you into our homes? Or naked, and clothe you?
When did we ever see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?

The King will reply “I tell you whenever you did this for one of the least important of these brothers of mine you did it for me! The righteous will go on to eternal life."

Four men – a politician, 2 firemen, and a minister.
Whether changing the nation, saving lives or saving souls they all left the world a better place.

Matthew 25:21
The master replied, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!"

May God wrap the families in his arms and bring them comfort and peace as they mourn the loss of their loved ones.

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