My 91-year-old uncle, whose soul our Almighty God recently summoned from this vale of tears to our eternal home, felt blessed to have O negative blood, which is “the universal blood type,” and so he was a consistent blood donor; for example, his obituary mentioned his being recognized for donating 116 pints since 1986.
My uncle’s consistently giving blood is just one example of his good works done in service of his fellow human beings, not that his good works saved him, for they cannot (Romans 3:21), but his good works flowed from his saving faith in Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross for the sins of my uncle and the whole world, which faith in Jesus Christ alone can save us (Romans 3:28).
My uncle was one of my baptismal sponsors, but he not only confessed on my behalf the faith that God had given to me in my baptism when I could not yet verbalize it, but he also faithfully confessed that faith for himself throughout his life, and he regularly received God’s forgiveness of sins through His Means of Grace — baptism, absolution and the Lord’s Supper — and he raised his family in the faith.
One of my enduring memories of my mother’s and my visiting my uncle and my aunt in recent years was the long list of people for whom they faithfully prayed every morning as part of their devotions after breakfast, and I know that in his final days in a skilled-nursing facility, isolated due to coronavirus protocols, he wanted to use his time to hold those many people up to the Lord in prayer.
As many people as my uncle prayed for or helped by donating his blood, or as many people as we might help by donating our blood, we obviously do not come close to the impact of Jesus’s blood shed on the cross, by which God makes peace between Himself and us sinners (Colossians 1:20).
Still, we can and should give blood, if we are blessed with being able to do so. The Kilgore Rotary Club and Pilgrim Lutheran Church are offering you another opportunity to give blood by sponsoring their 30th Kilgore Community Blood Drive next Saturday, Jan. 23 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the congregation’s Parish Hall at 713 Florey St. in Kilgore. For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit www.pilgrimlc.org/blooddrive or call (903)984-4333.
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.