The Oasis - November 11, 2020

Author: Rev. Eric Dupee
November 11, 2020

Eric Dupee

     At Sunday’s outdoor worship service, I invited all the veterans to either stand or raise a hand so we could acknowledge them and offer our gratitude for their service. There were quite a few veterans in attendance. 
     John McCrae was a Canadian doctor and teacher who served in World War I. In his poem titled In Flanders Fields, he invited future generations to take up the struggle against the foe. I take that to mean to resist evil, cruelty, and tyrants. On this Veterans Day, we thank all those who have served their country and taken up “our quarrel with the foe.” Perhaps Veterans Day is an opportunity for each of us to reflect on how we might resist evil and cruelty in our own small ways. 
     Related to this, I hope you will read First Parish Church member Cheryl Pinder’s thoughtful contribution to this week’s Oasis in which she writes about random acts of kindness. It is so easy to brighten someone’s day with a surprise phone call, a handwritten note, dropping off a bagel, or any number of random acts of kindness. If you need ideas of church members and friends that might benefit greatly by a random act of kindness, I can make some suggestions. Please be in touch.  
     Here is his poem. It is in the public domain.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
        In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high. 
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.

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