March 15– It is the term “Great Civil War” that Pastor Terry Wolfe spoke to us about in his sermon last week. He reminded us how contradictory the term “Great Civil War” really is. There is nothing Great or Civil about war of any type. Then he gave us the statistics:
- 750,000 total deaths during that war – more than the total US casualties during WWI (116,516), WWII (405,000), Korean Conflict (36,000), and Vietnam (58,000) combined!
- Those deaths represent 2.5% of the American population at that time, and an average death toll of 504 deaths per day during four long years of fighting, brother against brother.
What a cost it was! War consists of combat, resistance, hostility, violence, bloodshed, but civility is the way we act to come up with a solution and reconciliation. Pastor Wolfe reminded us that God is in the business of reconciliation, not the business of making war. There was a Great Civil War in heaven – it was made great because God’s greatness and mercy was revealed to man. Satan wants to destroy all the good that God created, but God wants to reconcile each one of us to himself.
In Colossians 1:21-23, we read “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.”
Pastor Wolfe finished by reminding us “Woe be to us if we forget what came before us. Remember the heroes of the Reformation. Remember the martyrs. Remember all those who spent their lives fighting spiritual and physical battles as they spread the Word of God throughout the world. Remember Christ’s words on the cross – ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’”
We are to be heaven’s ambassadors in this dark world…to demonstrate God’s love and attributes…His greatness. By His grace we can love our enemies as well as our friends. We can be civil. The war is not yet over, but we know how the story ends.
We invite you to visit the Community Services Center located on the church property – open every Tuesday from 10:00 – 2:00. We appreciate your donations and support as 103 people in our community were served during the month of February. Cherie Downs manages the center and we appreciate her and the team that volunteered 58.25 hours of time to clean and organize the 997 items they gave away. If we can be of assistance to you, please call the church at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343. Check us out at www.avaadventistchurch.org and follow us on Facebook! May God bless and keep you!