Pastor’s ponderings

Today, in the United States, we celebrate Veteran’s Day.  It is a special day to remember all those who have served in our nation’s armed forces.  Now, I must note that, as the church, “We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ” (Social Principles of The United Methodist Church, ¶165 of The United Methodist Book of Discipline, 2016).  Yet, we also support those who chose to participate in military service as a way of serving others “when peaceful alternatives have failed” (¶164).

            I am the grandson, son, and father of a servicemember.  The military has been a part of my life for a long time, and while I myself did not end up serving, I am proud to support those who did.  As I grew up, I distinctly remember the connections that were made by these servicemembers, connections that last a lifetime.  In fact, as it turned out in one amazing example, when my son finished ROTC in high school, he received an award which was presented to him by someone whom my father had served with in Germany some thirty-five years earlier!

            As I do each week in these ponderings, I can’t help but to make a connection to the church.  How are we making connections such as these?  How are we honoring those that have served?  Or do we?  We often say that the world has a lot to learn from the church, which I agree with.  Yet, I also have to ponder, how much do we also need to learn from the world around us?  Those who serve alongside one another in our nation’s military make connections that become unbreakable bonds, and the reality is the same should happen in our churches, shouldn’t it?  We, as the infamous hymn would call us, “Christian Soldiers,” have much to learn about serving alongside our brothers and sisters and going about our daily task – it is an honor and a privilege, a duty and a responsibility.

            Last week we celebrated All Saints Sunday, recognizing those saints who served before us, the veterans of the faith.  It was an honor to recall the mark that they made upon our lives as we served alongside them, and to receive the refreshed reminder of our call to serve alongside others.  Each and every day, we get a little bit older and wiser, a bit stronger in the faith, becoming veterans in service to the Lord.  How might you mentor the new recruits this week?

                                                                        Always pondering,                                                                         Pastor Steve

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