Summary: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” --John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address Washingt
SERMONIC / WORSHIP THEME
Opening Statement: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” --John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address Washington, D.C. January 20, 1961.
Introduction: Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day and throughout this nation those words will be echoed in the memory of United States veterans around the world. Wherever our nation’s flag flies, people will pause to remember the price that was paid and is being paid for the freedoms that we enjoy. Today, we pause to remember as well. We want to honor and esteem all veterans and especially those veterans who are with us in the worship service today. [Have them to stand and the congregation to applaud]
Illustration: We have a visual representation of the sacrifice that these and others like these have made on our behalf. These visual representations are on our platform every week when you come to worship. They have probably become so common to you that you hardly notice them. You see before you, this morning, are two flags. The American Flag and the Christian Flag. One represents our country and the other represents our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. These flags complement one another.
Explanation: Without the American Flag, we might not be able to wave the Christian Flag as freely as we do. Men and women have died in order that we might have the liberty to boldly wave the “Christian” Flag in our churches throughout America. No one stands in our way and we have our veterans to thank for this. On the other hand, without the Christian Flag, men and women who have laid their lives on the line for America could not have done so in confidence and hope without the realization that if they should perish, there is One who has faced death and overcome it and through faith in Him, life and liberty reigns eternal.
Notation: I want to go on record today to say, “I love America.” Even though there are individuals and groups of Americans who seem bent on severing any connection or responsibility to God, I love what we represent to the world. In addition to this and on a far greater level, “I love the Savior and His Kingdom and what that represents to the world.” I can’t imagine a world without churches or Bibles or seminaries and those who bring the Savior’s values and teachings into our communities and families. And when this country, as good and wonderful as it is, fails to meet your needs, there’s a Savior who has promised to supply every need.
Transition: To serve either of these flags and the kingdoms that they represent, one must become a servant. I want us to look at a true servant, a biblical veteran today. I’m going to expand the idea of a veteran to include more than just a military veteran. I have it on good authority to do so.
Definition: Webster’s Dictionary says that a veteran is: n. 1. a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation, office, or the like: (i.e., a veteran of the police force or fire department; veteran school teacher; a veteran NFL player; a veteran homemaker) 2. a person who has served in a military force. 3. one who is experienced through long service or practice… So, while we may be veterans in different areas, there’s one mark that characterizes all true veterans – faithful service. One final time, we will look at the life of Epaphroditus, a man who models service - Christianity in Action!