Reflection of Fort Knox, Maine
Last week we remembered D-Day, that historic day which began the joyful reclamation of Europe from tyranny but which was tragically stained by the tremendously sad sacrifices of young men dying to restore liberty. Remembering people and events from our past helps to define us as people and as a country, to understand and evaluate our strengths and weaknesses, to celebrate our successes, and to correct or atone for our errors. It guides us forward to a changed future.
The reflection of Fort Knox in this window reminds us not only of a different war for freedom (Revolutionary) but also of how relevant history is to our current life of freedom. Although until fairly recently, we have accessed historical knowledge through the reflections of oral and written stories and facts, the lens of modern audio-visual technology now allows us to experience history as it happens even though it has happened before our time! And we can relive some of our own experiences! As I was thinking about this blog, my brain kept playing the tune and hearing the lyrics of “Wonderful World” emanating from somewhere out of the din and fog of the past. So, I turned to the internet and started reliving the 70’s!…
“Don’t know much about history, don’t know much biology. Don’t know much about a science book, don’t know much about the French I took. But I know that I love you, and I know that if you love me too What a wonderful world this would be…”
Those are simple words sung to a catchy tune! (check it out if you don’t recognize it!) But within that song lies the profound fact that our greatest need is to be loved! This past week, our country experienced protest marches and endured riots stemming from very deep national and personal hurts and mistrusts because we neither understand nor value each other. We either lack the skills or do not have the will to love and to treat each other with the respect any human should extend to another human.
Love is the overarching theme of the Judaeo-Christian narrative which is God’s story about His gracious offer to free mankind from the tyranny of ourselves. It is about the ways He values us and protects us with His love just as He did Israel, to whom was given the promise, “For the LORD your God is going with you! He will fight for you..(Deuteronomy 20:4)”
And He has done that for us; Regardless of skin color or ethnicity or social status or gender, God draws all people who will believe to Himself and to His Kingdom. He lovingly moves throughout this corrupted creation administering mercy and justice in order to redeem everyone of us. He fought the decisive battle for our liberty through the sacrifice of Christ, who took the wrath and just penalty for our sins so that we would be completely forgiven and not face condemnation if we trust. He showed us love through mercy so that we might live lives of mercy and forgiveness. As a result, we can confidently sing with Martin Luther: “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing, Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.” And we can agree that all who live are valued.
His story is about salvage and renewal. We all need it. We are all part of the problem, but He will make us part of the solution if we will let Him!
Meet Chris Mace
Christopher Mace graduated from Bowdoin College and Tufts University School of Medicine. Served as a Navy Doctor in Vietnam and has practiced medicine in Downeast Maine since 1970. He is now an Elder at United Baptist Church in Ellsworth Maine. Chris is the author of two books, Listening to God and Dancing with God. You can read more from Chris here: http://sweetwordsfrommaine.music.blog/. He is married and has four children and three grand children.