Can you shed a little blood to help your neighbor?

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As you may know, the congregation I serve, Pilgrim Lutheran Church, co-sponsors a quarterly community blood-drive with the Kilgore Rotary Club. Not every time but regularly I mention the next drive in a column, either weeks before or the day of the drive, as I here mention the upcoming January 19 drive.

Over the more than five years now that we have been holding these quarterly blood-drives, I have appreciated reflecting in these columns on the connections between the God-man Jesus Christ’s shedding His blood on the cross for the sins of the whole world and our giving of our own blood for the health of other people in our communities. Not only is our giving our own blood a sort of imitation of Christ, but, as I have written in the past and seem to keep coming back to, doing so also seems to be a keeping of the positive side of God’s Commandment against shedding our neighbors’ blood.

You may know Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed” (ESV). And, you may also know Hebrews 9:22: “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (ESV; confer Leviticus 17:11). Whether numbered as the Fifth or Sixth Commandment, God’s Commandment against murder prohibits shedding another person’s blood to harm that person and does not prohibit but arguably enjoins shedding one’s own blood to help another person. Those who repent of their sin and trust God to forgive their sin for Jesus’s sake begin to keep that and all the other Commandments however they can.

If you are eligible to give blood, please plan to do so at the 22nd Quarterly Kilgore Community Blood Drive on Saturday, January 19, between 8:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., at 713 Florey Street in Kilgore. If you cannot give, please find someone who can and will. For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit www.pilgrimlc.org/blooddrive or call 903-984-4333.

In this life, we never keep any Commandment perfectly, but we try as we can and, with repentance and faith, live in God’s forgiveness when we fail.

The Rev. Dr. Jayson S. Galler is Pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore.

You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.pilgrimlc.org.

The Rev. Dr. Jayson S. Galler is Pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore. You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.pilgrimlc.org.

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