Isaiah 2:4 – He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; 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 anymore. (NKJV)
I was in a long lineup at the bank when I noticed the nicely-dressed senior ahead of me with silver hair. As he turned, I saw that he wore a navy blue Legion jacket sporting many small brooches and pins — for awards and accomplishments, I imagined. He smiled, and so I said, "That's a lot of honour there on your lapel." He seemed pleased that I had recognized that. I asked him if he had been in Europe during the war, and he said that he was on the beaches of Normandy on D-day where his cousin was killed. From my entrance onto the scene in the 1950s during peacetime, I can barely imagine what he must have suffered that day. I shudder to think of the young men I know today, for I have sons as well. I imagine what it must have been like to see such young men leave home, perhaps never to return. I asked him what he thought of the wars in the world today and all the young men and women who go overseas to serve their country. He said that war is not something that mankind can solve, and that there would be only one solution for it all. I held my breath for the answer, and then he said these golden words: "The return of Jesus Christ will be the only answer for it." I reached for his hand and said, "Oh! Then I must greet you as a brother in Christ, for I believe that, too."
On Sunday, I looked in the glass cabinet at church, and saw the picture of a very young man in uniform. He was noted as having died for his country. He had such a handsome face — I think of how his mother must have wept when she got the bad news.
For all those bumper stickers that say, "Thank a Vet", I say, "Thank you", and I honour you with respect, especially on November 11th. On this Remembrance Day or Veterans Day, we salute those who fought battles, who endured unimaginable sacrifice and loss, who bravely left home and hearth to defeat tyranny, who now defend our country, and who through it all still have the focus to believe that Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is the answer to all the earth's travail. God calls all of us to be peacemakers, and until Jesus comes again, we must do our best in our own way to work for peace in all our relationships.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we give thanks to You for the freedom that we enjoy in many countries today because of those who paid such a price. As the Canadian national anthem says, "God keep our land glorious and free". Amen.
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