“I thank my God every time I remember you.” – Philippians 1:3

At 11am on November 11, 1918, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the treaty was signed that brought to a close the “war to end all wars.” Every year since, this nation has paused to remember all those who have served in our armed forces, answering a call to put the concerns of their neighbor above all else. Sadly, the war that ended in 1918 was not the last such conflict and this nation continues to depend on the self-sacrificing service of our daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, neighbors, and friends.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I am not a veteran. I am grateful beyond measure that I have not been called upon in this way. But it’s not lost on me that I enjoy the benefits of this country, provided in a great part by the service of others. It’s humbling to think of the millions that have served their neighbors in this way over the decades past and those who will continue to do so for decades into the future. This is what I remember on this Veteran’s Day. 

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13

As a pastor and Jesus follower, I’m also aware that armed conflict is a challenge to see as a part of the vision God has for the world. My father and my uncles served during the Vietnam war. They would be quick to say that the only honor to be found in the wars we wage is found within the women and men who put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of so many. This is what I remember on this Veteran’s Day.

“He shall judge between the nations,
    and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war any more.”- Isaiah 2:4

May the service of all those who have worn the uniform of this country and dutifully followed their marching orders to protect and defend their neighbor and our freedoms, be a witness to the hope that, one day, our weapons will serve an altogether different purpose. Thank you for your efforts in getting us ever closer to that moment. 

May God’s peace bless you. This is what we remember on this Veteran’s Day.  -Pastor Peter