"Gone, But Not Forgotten"
February 8, 2010
As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him. . . . Psalm 103:15-17a
On the 19th of July in 1916, the young man who had been stationed in Fromelles, France was ordered to charge the German lines.
He was not alone.
Thousands of other British and Australian troops charged into the machine guns. A survivor wrote, "The air was thick with bullets, swishing in a flat, criss-crossed lattice of death. Hundreds were mown down in the flicker of an eyelid."
It was the bloodiest 24 hours in Australian military history.
2,300 died. So many died, their bodies couldn't all be recovered. The Germans buried hundreds in mass graves -- graves that were forgotten, graves that were lost, graves that were, until only recently, rediscovered in 2008.
Now, using modern DNA matching, some of the soldiers are being returned to their families and are being given a new, more fitting gravesite. But there are others -- like our young man -- who are being reburied without names, without their families, without . . .
He is a man who is known only to God. That's what it will say on his stone. That's what it will say on all of the stones of the unknowns.
I don't know if you feel lonely or lost. I don't know if you think of yourself as misunderstood or mistreated. I just don't know.
You are known to God.
He knows you as a sinner, and because of His Son's sacrifice and forgiveness, He knows you as one of His redeemed children.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I give thanks I am known to You. Thank You, that in spite of my transgressions and foolishness, You still remember me, love me, and reach out to keep me in the faith. This day send Your Holy Spirit to especially watch over the forgotten and the unknown. In Jesus' Name, I ask this. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries