Psalm 39:4 Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.
2 Corinthians 8:5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will.
November 11th has always been a very special and solemn day for me as far back as I can remember. As a child I watched Remembrance Day parades and wondered why all of the pipers, soldiers, and people were marching in the street. Later on in life, I would attend solemn church services and school programs where everyone kept a minute’s silence at the 11th hour. The silence had a profound affect upon me and I have annually tried to keep it sacred.
A lot of people think about the older men and women at today’s Veterans’ Day marches, parades, and services. I don’t see them as old, frail, and grey haired. In my mind’s eye I picture them all as young twenty-something people whose hopes and dreams were set aside by two terrifying World Wars.
When I hear or read the names of those who died, I see them as young people who should have been at college, but who were called up for service of their country. Their lives were fleeting because they gave absolutely everything.
I feel sad and deeply humbled by their holy sacrifice. I hope that I have lived my life in ways that would not belittle their giving. I may never go to war or serve my country on a foreign battleground, but I will remember, respect, and honor those who have done that in the past, and who are still doing it today.
In Britain and across the many nations of what was once the British Commonwealth, the following beautiful statement is expressed after the sacred time of silence:
“They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old. Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. We will remember them.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we are thankful for Your sacrifice that has guaranteed us salvation. Today we also remember those young people who have given of their lives to secure the freedoms, liberties, and rights of our people. Help us to honor their sacrifice by living our lives freely and faithfully. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.