Thursday, October 31, 2013

First Responders to First Responders

Chaplains are called to be for police officers, medics, and fire fighters, what these officers cannot be for themselves. Chaplains must be advocates for their police officers, before their chiefs, and with the community. 

Police Officers, by their vary nature, have to be tough, often forced to swallow the pain and evil they see on a daily basis, because to be weak could get them killed. They are targets for criminals, ever having to be vigilant while doing the rounds, not knowing if the next block is going to see gunfire directed at them. They enter domestic violence scenes, where moms have been beaten, and where  little children are showing signs of sexual abuse. They see the evil that at times seems to dominate their whole world, and they take it home with them, unable to share what they've seen with their spouses. 

Being tough guys, they can't let down their guard, nor can they sometimes see that this evil has not completely won the battle. Trust becomes harder for the officers, because they come in contact with the evil throughout their work week.

When I was a high school student my father was a police officer, as well as a golf pro during the short golfing season of Northern Idaho. An influential lady came up to me after church and complained about a speeding ticket my father had given her, and how he'd "done a power trip on her because he'd been overzealous. She was angry because, as a fellow Lutheran, he should not have ticketed her. I surprised myself by telling her that if she were such a good Lutheran, my dad wouldn't have had to pull her over for speeding, and that furthermore, since he was an honest cop, he had the duty to give everyone a ticket, if they deserved it, regardless of where they went to church. The woman walked off in a huff.

Police protect us from ourselves, it would seem, and often take abuse from the very people who need their services the most. It doesn't hurt to thank an officer for doing his or her duty, when you are at fault, and deserve the ticket. You should be thanking the officer for pulling you over because you've been drinking, and be grateful they're not pulling your body out of a crumpled wreckage.

We need to be mindful that police deserve to receive smiles, and friendly expressions of our gratefulness for protecting us from the bad guys, all the while not acting like one of the bad guys ourselves. They are appointed to be our protectors, and we should not act like the spoiled brat that resents being reminded, we will not be allowed to break the law. There are enough truly bad guys out there without our contribution to the further breakdown of civilization.

Write a commendation letter to the officer's chief, letting the department know how much you appreciated the politeness of the officer as he was writing your ticket. Let the officer know you are grateful he's kept you from doing something stupid, and that he's like a guardian angel, keeping you safe from yourself.

As members of society we need to show our love and respect to the men and women in uniform, and not let ourselves act like rough teenagers who want to party without adult supervision. We need to take a new look at how very much we need their services, for our society would break down overnight, without them.

We need to pray for our police offices, and recognize their service to the greater community is what keeps society from the chaos, violence, and total breakdown of civilization that would take place without them. We must remember to pray for our medics and firefighters, who on any given day, put their own lives on the line for our safety. Medics who pull the injured from crumpled vehicles, stabilizing them for transport to the hospital. The firefighters who put their own lives and safety on the line while going into the fires others are fleeing from. These men and women, police officers, medics, and firefights, all, are the guardians of peace and safely, and a lifeline to countless men, woman, and children, each and every day. The least we can do for them is to pray for them and their families, show respect when we have been caught breaking the law, and thank them for all they do for us.

As a long time chaplain to police officers, medics, and firefighters, I have grown to love and respect them. I have shared the pain they experience, and I stand in awe at their bravery, and the kindness they extend to the public each and every day. I watch in horror when they are injured, or disrespected, and feel like a proud father (I'm usually a lot older then them), when seeing them do courageous things. I pray for them every day, and am proud to serve as part of their support team, and honored to serve their departments.
With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday October 31, 2013 / October 18, 2013
19th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.

Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke (1st c.).
Translation of the relicts (2001) of Venerable Joseph of Volokolamsk (1515).
New Hieromartyrs Andrew,Serius, Nicholas and Sergius priests, Virgin-martyr Elizabeth (1937).
Martyr Marinus the Elder at Anazarbus (4th c.).
Venerable Julian the Hermit of Mesopotamia (4th c.) and Venerable Didymus the Blind.
Martyr Chrysa (Zlata or Golda) of Bulgaria (1795).
Venerable David, abbot, of Serpukhov (1520).
Hieromartyr Mnason, bishop of Cyprus (1st c.) (Greek).
New Martyrs Gabriel and Cirmidol of Egypt (1522) (Greek).
Venerables Symeon, Theodore (monks), and Euphrosyne, who found the Icon of the Mother of God in the Great Cave of Peloponnesus (9th c.) (Greek).
St. Peter of Cetinje, metropolitan of Montenegro, Serbia (1830) (Serbia).
Sts. Gwen and Selevan, martyred Welsh missionaries, in Brittany. (Celtic & British).

You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Philippians 1:20-27

20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, 26 that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.

Striving and Suffering for Christ

27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,

Luke 9:49-56

Jesus Forbids Sectarianism

49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”
50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”

A Samaritan Village Rejects the Savior

51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”
55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing these. I really appreciate it. The blog posting of the day has often been exactly what I needed to hear. It is a blessing to me.