The First Congregational Church of Darien

United Church of Christ

A community of faith since 1737

A Heart of Compassion

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.  Every year, the week before Memorial Day, I spend my time in prayer asking God to wash his love over the families, friends and soldiers who have been affected by war.

I would like to invite you to join me this week in prayer for our fallen sisters and brothers.  Remember, God’s heart is broken right alongside these people.  As a result, keeping them and those close to them lifted in prayer will lead the Holy Spirit into their hearts.

Recently, my wife and I watched a movie called: “Hacksaw Ridge”.  The true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss played by Andrew Garfield, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds. Doss was drafted and ostracized by fellow soldiers for his pacifist stance but went on to earn respect and adoration for his bravery, selflessness and compassion after he risked his life — without firing a shot — to save 75 men in the Battle of Okinawa.

This movie impacted me deeply.  Truthfully, I cried throughout several scenes.  Desmond Doss, reminds me of the parable that will be preached this Sunday in church, The Good Samaritan:

But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ (Luke 10:33-35, NRSV)

There are many ways to interpret this text but at the heart of it is, Divine Intervention.  Doss saw an opportunity to serve in a most courageous way.  I’ve been fortunate to witness countless examples of Good Samaritans.  Because of this, I’m motivated to conclude that human angels do exist in our world.  Many of whom I met in our church.


Gary Michael


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