Summary: Veterans Day Sermon
“Veterans of the Kingdom of God: Spirit Led, Kingdom Focused”
Last Friday was Veterans Day and today, we are celebrating the veterans who have a connection with people from our congregation. Veterans are men and women who have been called to protect our nation. This morning we are honoring those men and women who have served our nation. We know that many of our veterans come home from war with scars and injuries from oversea conflicts. However, we are grateful for their willingness to serve and sacrifice for our nation. Today we want to say thank you.
We also honor and thank those families who have stood by their soldiers; Spouses, parents, grandparents and friends who have sacrificed while their loved one was overseas. These people have prayed many prayers asking God to protect their loved ones when they went off into conflict. Many have had to go the extra mile to take care of the family and to support the community while their spouse was performing their duty.
A solder must have great faith when he or she signs the paper that reveals their willingness to serve in the military. I will never forget the day when Keith and other soldiers said goodbye to their families and they boarded the buses for war. Many families have gone through those experiences and wondered if their loved one would return home. The hugs are given to their little girls and their focus must then be on their mission to protect their country the United States of America. These are emotional times that have been a part of many families throughout the centuries.
On this day we also praise God for not only hearing our prayers but giving protection and care during dangerous times. It is good that we say thank you to our veterans but it is also important that we say thank you to our God. Paul writes: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” Ephesians 1:3. Chuck Swindoll was trying to illustrate how we sometimes forget to give God the thanks he deserves. He tells the story of a man he visited in a dismal veterans hospital:
The day I arrived to visit, I saw a touching scene. This man had a young son, and during his confinement in the hospital, he had made a little wooden truck for his boy. Since the boy was not allowed to go into the ward and visit his father, an orderly had brought the gift down to the child, who was waiting in front of the hospital with his mother. The father was looking out of a fifth-floor window, watching his son unwrap the gift.
The little boy opened the package, and his eyes got wide when he saw that wonderful little truck. He hugged it to his chest. Meanwhile, the father was walking back and forth waving his arms behind the windowpane, trying to get his son’s attention.
The little boy put the truck down and reached up and hugged the orderly and thanked him for the truck. And all the while the frustrated father was going through these dramatic gestures, trying to say, ‘It’s me, son. I made the truck for you. I gave that to you. Look up here!” I could almost read his lips.
Finally the mother and the orderly turned the boy’s attention up to the fifth-floor window. It was then the boy cried, “Daddy! Oh, thank you! I miss you, Daddy! Come home, Daddy. Thank you for my truck.” And the father stood in the window with tears pouring down his cheeks. How much like that child are we. There are many people in our life we need to thank, but the life was have comes from God and God deserves our thanks.
FOLLOWING THE GUIDANCE OF OUR LEADER. Jacque and I went to a yellow ribbon ceremony in Des Moines just before Keith was deployed, where the commander of the Iowa National Guard spoke. He said that his troops would be well-trained. The commanders priority was to bring all his troops home safely and this could be best done by having soldiers who followed orders. He warned of the dangers of not following those orders and taking short-cuts along the way. He said that most injuries occurred when soldiers did things their own way.
Keith spoke about when their truck was hit with a bomb that immediately you begin to do those things you have been trained to do. This is something they had gone over many times. A soldier doesn’t need to think but he or she follows through by doing each step they have been trained to do. The training might be boring but it prepares the soldier for war.