Thank You For Your Service

A reading for Friday, November 11, 2016: Exodus 40:18-34.

From 1941 to 1945, the greatest generation fought the wars of the world across Europe and the South Pacific. They witnessed the destruction of ancient cities, refugees fleeing from tyranny, and the brutality of a regime determined to exterminate an entire race of people. An entire generation of Americans went to war. They won and they were heroes.

Then the greatest generation returned to America determined to build our country up from the ashes and the heartbreak of that war. They built neighborhoods and schools, community groups... and of course churches. It was the golden age of church in America. We built classrooms for Sunday school and gymnasiums for basketball leagues. Large fellowship halls were constructed for community meals and sanctuaries were expanded to accommodate all the believers who came in search of a house of worship. Historians note that this was the culmination of Christianity, an era of success for the church we had never seen before. An entire generation built the church.

Just as carefully as Moses constructed the Tabernacle in our lesson today, those that have come before us constructed our church campuses with the same diligence and devotion to God. They honored God with their lives and their commitment to the church.

On this Veterans Day, we celebrate all those that have served our nation faithfully. From the greatest generation all the way through conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War and the War on Terror. Again and again, men and women have volunteered to defend our nation and the cause of freedom and justice across the planet. They remain our heroes.

In addition to honoring them as a grateful nation, I also wanted you to know the devoted service they gave to our churches. Sometimes we look at our congregations and see white hair and wonder why? They are there because they built the church and have served it all their lives. We owe them a debt of our gratitude and celebrate the mighty heritage we enjoy as people of faith. Thank you for your service.

It might seem strange to some to remember the culmination of the church on Veterans Day, and perhaps it is. However, for the greatest generation the service they gave to their nation and their church came from the same place. It was the love of God and the love of neighbors. They are still our heroes.


Popular Posts