On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, we honor and esteem all veterans and active duty military personnel who served and continue to serve our nation to keep us safe and preserve our freedom, especially those from our community of family and friends. Three Canastota residents were recently recognized for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan; my nephew, who was awarded the Bronze Star, just returned safely to his family.
Many Christian churches in the United States display two flags, the American flag and the Christian flag. One represents our country and its ideals; the other represents our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his kingdom. To serve either of these flags and what they represent faithfully and effectively, we must meet certain requirements. Before we can become veterans, we must first be good soldiers.
The dictionary defines a veteran as: a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation or office, such as a veteran of the police force; a person who has served in the military, especially during a war; one experienced through long service or practice, such as a veteran member of Congress. Let us compare what is required of military veterans to what it means to be a true veteran of the cross of Christ.
One must voluntarily choose to serve either flag. America no longer drafts people to serve in the armed forces; instead, they are asked to volunteer. Recruiters encourage men and women to voluntarily enlist in the military. God also does not force anyone to serve him; however, he invites people to come to Christ and sends out ambassadors to urge people to serve in his army (Matthew 11:28; 2 Corinthians 5:20).
Those who serve the American flag must have faith in the United States government, that it will supply their physical needs. Food, clothing, shelter, medical needs, and even companions are supplied by the government. Those who serve the Christian flag must have faith in Jesus, who has called them into his service, to supply their every need of spirit, soul, and body (Philippians 4:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).