Sunday, March 11, 2007

Armor Chapel

There are two chapels at Camp Ramadi: Memorial Chapel and Armor Chapel. Memorial Chapel is the main chapel, where the brigade chaplain lives/works and most of the services are conducted. Armor Chapel is where I have my office, and we have a worship service for each of the Protestant, Catholic, LDS, and Gospel communities.

Today is the Third Sunday of Lent. Protestant services went well. Today's message was from the Gospel Reading: Luke 13:1-9. It addresses questions of causality and justice: Why do bad things happen to good people? Where is God's justice? I concluded with the illustration that without a necessary chemical process that turns it into rich fertilizer, manure is harmful rather than beneficial to the growth process. When we respond with humility to our challenges and trials, pain and suffering become the rich soil out of which a broken heart and a contrite spirit emerge. The fruit of God's righteousness worked through us is facilitated by life's difficulties. Witnessing the wounded and dying can cause one to ask some of life's heavier questions. Although I don't have all the answers, it's satisfying to be in place to help answer some of the more important ones.
Armor Chapel, as you can see, is nothing more than a tent. However, Private First Class Thomas (pictured here with Sergeant Tremain) put a great deal of time, skill, and effort into making us nice, sturdy benches, an alter (for Mass and LDS Sacrament Meetings), and a wood wall and door (with double hinges). The chapel is humble, but it fulfills its function. We are blessed to have it.

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