Alliance News Feed – A Veterans Day Meditation
by David Goodin, pastor of Cherry Tree Alliance Church in Uniontown, Pennsylvania
Peace. The very word denotes calm and well-being and stirs in us a longing for the shalom of God, the peace that passes understanding, the peace that brings strength and prosperity to spirit, soul, and body.
One hundred years ago, at precisely 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, military negotiators met in Compiègne, France, to sign an “armistice” (cease-fire or truce). This led to the end of World War I seven months later when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919.
Approximately 9 million combatants died in this global conflict, which was hailed as the “War to End All Wars,” and Armistice Day became an annual celebration on November 11. But this truce did not result in the shalom that was hoped and anticipated.
Those Who Have Served
Immediately upon the heels of war came a flu pandemic that killed perhaps 50 million people worldwide. Prohibition was instituted in our land, but the abolition of liquor failed to resolve the social ills that advanced through the “Roaring ’20s.” Then came the collapse of the stock market and the Great Depression that devastated so many lives.
Next was World War II. The First World War had not ended all wars after all. There almost seems to be a note of resignation in President Eisenhower’s signing of a bill in 1954 to change the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. A day that had been instituted to celebrate peace—a peace that would endure, or so it was thought—became a day “to thank all veterans who have served the United States of America.”
It is right to honor the men and women who have served in our nation’s military and to remember that many have given their lives for the purchase and preservation of our freedoms. The peace we enjoy has been purchased at the awful price of lives lost and families broken because of armed conflict. Each of us owes a great debt to our brave troops and to our national commitment to a strong military force. I am deeply grateful.
And yet, I remind myself of what the psalmist declared: Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God (Psalm 20:7). World War II was followed by the Korean and Vietnam wars and multiple other conflicts down to the present hour. The “War to End All Wars” apparently hasn’t happened. Lasting peace will come only when Christ, the Prince of Peace, establishes His reign upon the earth.
In the meantime, bless our military for their faithful service and great sacrifice. They represent the cause of justice, and they make possible a limited peace while we pray for the eternal peace that our Lord will bring.
Some trust in chariots, some in horses,
In worldly strength and man’s inventions.
Their eyes are lowered, they place their hope
In power, wealth, and institutions.
I lift my eyes to realms beyond us
And spy a peace that is supernal.
A new Jerusalem awaits me
Where reigns the Christ, my Lord eternal.
Celebrate Veterans Day Sunday, November 11, 2018, using these free resources.
Source: Alliance News Feed – A Veterans Day Meditation