07 Nov Finally
I cannot imagine living apart from someone I love every day, not knowing whether they were alive or dead. I know what it is to be separated by distance and unsure of what a loved one is doing, but to have no awareness is another level of uncertainty. I hope I never have to live that way, but there are people who do live like that for years.
The first remains of soldiers killed in the Korean War and sent from North Korea have been identified as belonging to Army Master Sgt. Charles H. McDaniel of Indiana and Army Pfc. William H. Jones of North Carolina. They died in combat with Chinese forces in 1950. Their families never knew what happened to them, and now they know the answer to at least one question: Did they survive?
McDaniel had one dog tag with his remains, which was presented to his sons when the remains were returned to the U.S. I saw an interview today where they shared how years went by with them wondering what their dad was doing and what happened to him. As his return seemed less likely, they wondered how he died and where his remains were. Closure escaped them until this summer. Now they have the proof of his death, but they will never know the whole story.
The military is very supportive of the POW/MIA program. Veterans groups work hard to help people remember the roughly 1,600 Americans who have gone missing during combat as either unaccounted for prisoners or deceased. Their mantra is “You are not forgotten.” There is a level of belonging and commitment that unites military members even after the fighting ends.
It is a connection that unites them, and we see a similar fellowship in the church. God intends for our church family to be the defining relationship in our lives. We are the Body of Christ, and we were created by God to be together. Jesus followers need a church home, and we need to work not only on our relationship with God but also with each other.
While earthly fellowships have to deal with uncertainty, we do not. Regardless of what happens in this life, we know absolutely that eternal life with Jesus and His followers awaits us. We are to live life together now to prepare us for life together…forever.
Our eternal family is the highest priority: there is nothing more important. If we do not want someone to be missing in heaven, we need to do something about it right now…today! Churches need to be lively, active, and concerned with the whereabouts of its members. No one should be left out or left behind.
We were created for this fellowship, and Jesus will never leave any of us behind. We should work just as hard as He did to love and protect all that belong to Him. Followers of Jesus must care for each other, nurture spiritual growth, and walk through this life hand-in-hand. It is our duty, and nothing is more important right now than our church community.
Blessings to you,