I once read the story about a town that was situated on the line between the north and the south during the American Civil War. Wanting to avoid pillaging and damages caused by the war, the citizens devised what they thought was a brilliant plan. As members of the union army marched through town, the villagers would raise the American flag to show their support of the troops. But as the confederate army marched through, they would raise the southern flag in support of the rebel cause. This worked well for awhile, but before too long, people began to find out what was happening in this town. It lost the respect of both sides and instead of avoiding damage, it was pillaged and looted by both sides of the war. Unlike the soldiers who were committed to the cause they were fighting for, these townsfolk were swayed by what they thought was currently popular.

As we honor our veterans today, I think of the commitment it takes to be a soldier. Writing to Timothy, Paul said, "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Timothy 2:3). The next verse goes on to say that a soldier doesn't get distracted and entangled in the affairs of life, but just tries to be a good soldier, pleasing the one who chose him. As Christians, it can be easy at times to get caught up in what's popular or what we think people want and expect of us. But as soldiers of Jesus Christ, our only command is to please the one who chose us by standing for the truth. This Veteran's Day, may we each resolve anew to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Standing for the truth,

Pastor Sutherland

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