Thursday, June 23, 2016
Devotional Before Oath of Office
Officers Joseph Callahan and Christopher Garcia
Belvidere Police Department
Boone County Sheriff’s Department
June 23, 2016
I told a story on Father’s Day that was given to me by Gerry Larson who served as an officer of our Fire Department for many years.
A woman says to her husband, “You don’t treat me special anymore. You seem so distant. We don’t cuddle. You don’t bring me flowers. We don’t even sit close in the car anymore.”
He replies, “I didn’t move.”
Half of the congregation, like you, didn’t laugh either.
Nobody laughed when I took poetic license and prophetic inspiration with that story.
“We don’t feel close to You anymore,” America and her city governments, elected officials, municipal employees, churches, courts, schools, businesses, families, and marriages say to God.
God replies, “I didn’t move.”
As Christopher and Joseph pledge allegiance to one nation including one city including one county under God, I remind everyone at this ceremony to remember the consistent message of Holy Scripture from Genesis through Revelation, “Return to Me and I will restore you. If not, not.”
Getting back to Father’s Day, I wrote to my upper-octogenarian dad, “Thank you for being a great model for me. While I have not always followed that model, it means more and more and more…especially in these dark days. Thank you for the courage to salt, shine, and leavenate no matter who, what, where, when, or why.”
And I think of Colin, a member of our family of faith, who gave this to me as encouragement, counsel, and warning: “Now we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.”
Now I know some folks just like to go through the motions at ceremonies like these; and some folks are probably wondering when I’m just gonna shut up so we can get on with it.
Well, I’m almost done and America is almost done if we’re not going to pray and work and insist on providing models of Someone better for America and our part of it.
So here’s my charge to our new officers, everybody in this room, and everybody who still cares about our American values that are inspired by God and inscribed in Holy Scripture.
Fulfill your ministry/vocation/calling/job in obedience to God, confirmed by the Constitution of the United States of America, perfectly personified in Jesus, and prescribed in Holy Scripture.
You will be glad you did!
America and our part of it will be better because of you!
Let us pray.
Thank You, God, for the privilege of law enforcement as a sacred calling to honor You by not only caring for those being wounded by the uncivilized but to pray and labor to do our best to keep citizens from being wounded by the uncivilized. Thank You for officers Joseph Callahan and Christopher Garcia as they join the uniformed women and men of Belvidere and Boone County to keep law and order so all may continue to celebrate life, liberty, and holy happiness. Bless our Mayor and Council, municipal employees, firefighters, Fire Chief, Police Chief, Sheriff, incumbent and newly elected State’s Attorneys, Judges, public servants, and citizenry dedicated to the highest values of America inspired by Holy Scripture in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Blessings and Love!
Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Stand up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!