November 11th is day when our country officially acknowledges the commitment of those who have served in the military. Perhaps the singular point to remember in our appreciation is that all who have served or who are serving took an oath that could ultimately cost them their lives. This is what military service comes down to. By taking an oath there is a commitment to following an order that could lead to death. Anything less is not really a commitment. For making that commitment please accept my gratitude along with the gratitude of millions of other Americans.
Many of those who read this blog are from military families. Thank you for the commitment you all have made and are making each day. This is a commitment that is too easily lost in the daily flow of life. So thank you for this daily sacrifice that you make for all of us!
There is an important connection that needs to be made between commitment to military service and the Christian life. The idea of being prepared to die for others is not something that originated with man and military service. Rather, there is a nobility found in people created in the image of God. As Psalm 8 declares, even though that image is deeply tarnished by man’s sin, it is still the reason that even those who don’t love God are willing to die for those they don’t know. Giving up one’s life for others is not something that originated in man but rather it is a part of the character man as a creature made in God’s image.
Ultimately Jesus Christ is the example of giving his life for others. As you know the person of Christ transcends history. All that is noble, all that praiseworthy about humans would not exist apart from the person of Christ who came to earth as a man and set the standard for all people for all time.
By being given the gift of new life by Christ’s sacrifice we are also called to see that this life is not all that there is. We too are called to give our lives as an expression of our commitment to God. Just as a solider whose bottom line is saving his life at all costs will be an ineffective combatant, those who love their life more than Christ will be ineffective in serving their King.
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:25