May 8, 2020 - Frontline

When I woke up this morning I was reminded of our frontline workers who are paying a price to keep us safe, secure, fed, alive, etc. Any person that is considered a frontline or essential employee is not one who works for fame or fortune, but one who is willing to sacrifice it all for the well-being of its fellow brothers and sisters. We have taken for granted many of these frontline workers who have died and paid the ultimate price. It just seems unfair that many of these workers are forced to go to work in conditions that are proven to be unsafe, but as we know, any person on the frontlines is in a hazardous position.

Again, I wish to acknowledge and pay tribute to all of our frontline workers who are members of Grace UMC. Yes, we acknowledge and appreciate all of the nation's frontline and essential employees, but for this week we honor our own at Grace. Earlier this week we recognized the fact that this week is Teacher Appreciation Week, National Nurses Week and National Military Appreciation Month. These persons are paying a hefty price to keep the nation afloat. All of these persons should be receiving hazardous pay, even the teachers.

We salute all of our teachers today for continuing to provide online and virtual learning to students who are not able to attend school due to covid-19. After speaking to several parents, I heard comments like, "My children have not missed a beat or they have set up their own little classrooms." The parents acknowledge that the teachers are doing an exceptional job. Keep up the good work teachers.    

To all of our healthcare workers, we say thank you for putting your life on the line every day for us. I truly believe that God calls all of us into our professions. If you want to know if God has called you into what you are doing during covid-19, just ask yourself this question, "Do I have a passion for what I am doing on the frontlines?" I am listing in this message today all of the healthcare worker's names that have been submitted to me: Donita Jackson, Tiana Jackson, Erica Colbert, Christine Colbert, Sherrie Walker, Gloria Simms, Novella Jackson, Kiara Dorsey, Kiera Robinson, Rev. Ralph Shorter, Jr., Teresa Harris, Shaun Harris, Dejah Essex and Denise Partee. I hope that someone has reached out to you this week to simply say, "Thank you!"

Our food service employees are to be commended for ensuring that food is available to us and for us. The names I received are: Ebony Coby, Lakaija Cooper, Shawnie Graham, Donette Sanders, and Marc Greene. We deeply appreciate each of you for your commitment to service.

Our postal service employees are continuing to do business as usual. We have not had a delay in mail delivery since covid-19. A matter of fact the postal delivery person on occasion has dropped packages off at the front door. We are grateful to our own, Joni Campbell and Dwayne Cowart. We appreciate the postal service creed, "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." We are grateful, for if you are like me, your outgoing mailings have increased.

Transportation is key and critical to the citizens who cannot provide it for themselves. Our metro and transit employees continue to do their part in ensuring the systems are working smoothly. Today we pay honor and tribute to Greg Freeman, Minister Da'Mali Rector, Arthur Knight, Leonard Philyaw and Darlene Chambliss. Keep up the great work you do!

Public safety is of utmost importance in times such as these. Even when there is not a pandemic, these persons put their lives on the line every day so that we might feel secure. We are deeply appreciative to Jerry Clinton, Nathaniel Wood, Qwendera Washington, Alice Tobin and Ramon Cowart. Please be safe and we pray God's covering.

Lastly, we acknowledge all of our military persons who are on duty daily to ensure that the nation is on solid footing at all times. These men and women are playing a pivotal role in so many ways during this coronavirus season. We honor them in a very special way today. Thank you for your many sacrifices.                                                  

I couldn't help but think about those heroes, disciples, in the Bible who served on the frontlines as they went about making disciples of all nations. We encounter instances in the scriptures where they were beaten, imprisoned, castigated, criticized, etc., yet they continued their work. I refer you to Matthew 28: 16-20: "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

My point is that God is calling all of us to the frontline, for a high calling. Jesus is calling ordinary people like you and me to show others our allegiance and love to Jesus through how we are living. We too must go and make disciples of Jesus Christ. It is not easy, nor is it comfortable, but we are called to GO!

Not a Sermon, just a thought!

Robert Earl Slade, Pastor