11 November 2021 Good Day to all of you!
Thursday, November 11th is the day on which I am writing this week’s What’s Brewing. For today, it is a day not unlike any other day, it has the same requirements, expectations, and ordinary to-do’s as yesterday and tomorrow. But, today is Veteran’s Day, a day that we celebrate our nation’s veterans. As a veteran, it is a day not necessarily about me, but it is a day that I reflect on a period of time that I basically gave up life as I knew it to go to foreign places and serve our nation’s principles and ways of life. We could say that “giving up life as I knew it” was in itself a sacrifice, but the sacrifice presented an opportunity for me to experience some things that I will never forget. It was a time where I developed deep relationships with the folks in
my unit. I developed friendships with men from various parts of Southwest Asia. I specifically remember Suresh, Karti, Ghandi, and Mumtaz. The relationships that we built and the experiences that we shared live on to this day as we gather together for reunions every five years.
The truth is that during our time of deployment, we did not cherish every day as wonderful,
nor did we realize at that time the value that living for such a purpose would have on the rest
of our lives. Most days were simply anything but enjoyable, we missed home, we missed
doing the simple things that we otherwise take for granted, we missed good food, and we
missed our loved ones. But we knew that our service was necessary, and we knew that our
efforts served the greater good of our nation. We witnessed the impact of our efforts on the
lives of those who lived in places that do not have the luxury of living in a nation such as ours. We knew we made a difference.
I served in the area of logistics, so my service in Desert Storm did not put me in the direct line of fire. I honor those men and women who have served and do serve in capacities in our military where their lives are at risk each day. They may or may not be able to look back as I can to memories and experiences in a positive light. But I know that every veteran shares the experience of comradery, fellowship, and the rewards of being a part of something larger than oneself for the cause of something other than self.
With Maj Zang , in Kuwait City, 1991
The purpose of Veteran’s Day is to honor all of those who have served in defense of our nation. And it is always good to recognize service. But, when you consider what we have accomplished, the ramifications can
Ghandi, Suresh, Mumtaz, Karti, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
With COL Zang (retired), Aug 2021 30 Year reunion
and will be measured in years. The output of the efforts of all of our nation’s conflicts will impact the next hundred or hundreds of years. We can measure our gratitude in what we think of as “lifetimes.”
Think about the same type of service for the church. We have been speaking about the church in the context of the result of the Gospel. Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church.” (Matt. 16:18). In building His church, He has set out a course for us to serve His church, share His Gospel message, and reach out to those in harm- specifically the harm of not knowing the Gospel, or understanding what it means to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We don’t often think of our participation in church as serving a purpose. We don’t look at it as being a part of something larger than ourselves to serve a purpose for the Greater Good.
Often, we look at making a commitment to the church as a sacrifice- it will take us out of our comfort zone. Our daily routines may be shaken up a bit to make space for the responsibilities of such a calling. We see this as not desirable in comparison to the alternative, after all, we need to live our lives, right? What many miss with this train of thought, though, is the relationships that will be built and the joy of seeing people served in new ways. It is through the church that we make the single largest impact on those around us that do not yet know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is through the comradery of fellowship and communal worship that a lifetime of memories and experiences will be cherished. This is the church. Compare this thought with the efforts of veterans who have made a succinct impact on all of those that they have been called to serve. Entire nations are free today because of our veterans- special shoutout to our Greatest Generation veterans!
This is how it is to be with the church. Yet the efforts of God’s freeing Grace do not impact us for years, or hundreds of years, it impacts those who we serve for eternity. For eternity. That’s our purpose and it is why God is so adamant in the scriptures about our calling as His children. He is building His church not to be monuments to His glory, but He is building His church to be an active participant in His Glory and sharing it like a beacon, or a lighthouse to all of those that do not yet understand it, or have had an opportunity to witness it. There is an ongoing battle in the world and the Church is God’s army to serve in it. And, we know that we win!
This Sunday, we will speak about how the church reveals the presence of God in the world today. We will contrast this with how God’s presence was revealed in the Old Testament to the Israelites, how His presence was revealed in the incarnate Christ, and how today, His presence is still seen in His people, Christians, the Church; us.
When we began our series on the Gospel, we discussed that the Greek word for gospel, euangelion, was a term used for good news received from the battlefield. In ancient days when soldiers went out to battle, people waited breathlessly for a report from the battlefield about the outcome. And these soldiers were celebrated. Today, we celebrate the efforts of our modern soldiers for their efforts and accomplishments.
What would it look like to have a Euangelion Day to recognize churches and those who have served them for their efforts on today’s battlefields? What differences are we making in the lives of others and how many are we saving and keeping out of harm’s way because of our service? On Veteran’s Day, it is important to remember that it is not the Armories or military bases that make a difference- it is the soldiers who serve within them. So it is with the church. Our victories are in direct correlation to our commitment and our service. And the memories and experiences will not only last a lifetime- but eternity! Thanks Vets!
Peace and Blessings! -pastor dave.
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