Christian Reflections on Veterans Day
In February of this year I was in the O’Hare Airport in Chicago. And as I was walking through the airport a large group of people caught my eye. So I stopped for moment—there were babies, little boys and girls, and moms and dads. Some of them were holding signs and balloons. All of them were giddy with anticipation, like they were waiting for something or someone.
Then out of the corner of my eye I noticed a flash of military troops darting down the hallway. All of the sudden there was this beautiful scene of crying, smiles, hugs, kisses and joy. Finally, their loved ones were home. Finally, they were safe. Finally, they were in able to touch and talk to their husbands, wives, daddies, and mommies! It was powerful to watch. I could feel the emotion in my bones and my heart welled up with happiness.
Today we celebrate all U.S. military veterans. And we should. Veterans have put their lives on the line for our “little kingdom.” They have left their families and loved ones to protect our country and so we honor their service today. But I would add this—let’s also be grateful for the troops who are serving in the “big kingdom.” Let’s be grateful for our missionaries. They don’t receive a hero’s welcome in airports, front-page attention in national newspapers or segments on the 7 o’clock news. But they are heroes in the truest sense of the word. They are risking their lives for God’s kingdom. They are on the front lines of spiritual warfare and desperately need our support.
C.S. Lewis, the famous writer who served during World War II, used to talk about how the church needs to have a “wartime mindset.” According to Lewis, the church is involved in a war against “the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Make no mistake about it—there is a war going on between King Jesus and his church and Satan and his minions. This war is real and the costs are eternal. Missionaries are our troops around the globe who are taking the good news about King Jesus to places that have never heard it. They are charging the gates of hell and advancing God’s worldwide kingdom. And, brothers and sisters, they need to know we have their backs. They need to know we are in their corner and honoring their service.
Here are some practical ways to do that:
- Prayer: Pick up one of our Covenant Missionary Prayer Calendar’s in the church lobby and or buy the book Operation World, an excellent prayer guidebook for every nation. Or visit the Voice of the Martyrs website and pray for persecuted missionaries around the globe.
- Education: Read a good missionary biography such as Through Gates of Splendor (Elisabeth Elliot), Peace Child (Don Richardson) or Servant on the Edge of History (Sam James).
- Join the Hope Missions Team: This is a new low-commitment, high-impact ministry at Hope that is geared to empower Hope to engage with global missions and help encourage and support the three families we support. Our first informational meeting will be this Tuesday at my house. Email me for if you are interested in attending.
- Go on a Short-term Mission Trip: There is nothing like experiencing the missions field first hand. Our next short-term mission trip will be to Colombia, April 26-May 5th. Contact the church office if you are interested in joining us.