Reportedly 4.5 million Americans are saved each year by blood transfusions. Transfusions go to cancer patients, trauma victims, those who have undergone surgeries, those with burns, sickle cell disease, etc. Each transfusion reportedly averages 2.7 pints, which means an average transfusion must be supplied by more than two donors, who are somewhat hard to come by. Just more than one-third of Americans are eligible to donate blood, but less than one-third of those eligible to donate actually do so.
Are you eligible? Can you recruit someone who is? January 21st is the fourteenth quarterly Kilgore Community Blood drive, co-sponsored by the Kilgore Rotary Club and Pilgrim Lutheran Church, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. inside the Carter BloodCare “coach” in the Church parking lot at 713 Florey Street in Kilgore. Potential donors can sign-up online at www.pilgrimlc.org/blooddrive or by calling the church office at 903-984-4333, but walk-ins are also welcome. (If the drive collects 25 or more units, donors or donor-recruiters drawn at random will be blessed with cash prizes totaling $300, thanks to Citizens Bank of Kilgore.)
Countless people from every nation, tribe, people, and language are saved from eternal death by washing their robes and making them white in the blood of the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world (Revelation 7:9, 14; 22:14; John 1:29, 36). The idea of washing garments white in blood may seem odd to us, but it has roots in the Old Testament (Genesis 49:11) and may reflect the miraculous power of God (Isaiah 1:18). Similarly the Old Testament refers to cleansing by sprinkling blood (Leviticus 16:19), and the New Testament says the blood of the God-man Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
We can find the cleansing blood of Jesus in the water of Holy Baptism (Ephesians 5:26) and with wine in the Sacrament of the Altar (for example, Matthew 26:27-28). God has recruited us and makes us eligible to receive it by faith. So saved, we love God and our neighbors, helping them however we can, including donating blood for them, if we can.
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.