Serving in the Lord’s army

Today is Saturday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day.

Excerpts from military.com report that Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. However, most Americans confuse this holiday with Memorial Day, reports the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day, but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military — in wartime or peacetime.

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on Nov. 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.'” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Some tinkering in 1968 led to confusion in celebrating, until 1978. It is now permanently observed on Nov. 11.

If the Nov. 11 holiday falls on a non-workday — Saturday or Sunday — the holiday is observed by the federal government on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday).

We honor our veterans by providing for our nation’s general defense expenses, by thanking them personally, and by praying for their protection, wisdom, health, and guidance.

Heavenly Father, you have blessed these United States above and beyond our imagination or expectation. Bless, guide, and protect our military personnel along with their families and individual concerns. May our words and prayers for your blessing strengthen and protect them daily in your care. Amen!

In similar manner, throughout the Christian church we have remembered and honored faithful service to our Risen Lord Jesus by believers (saints). Some big names and many regular believers were honored recently on All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and Reformation Day (Oct 31).

To a church with serious challenges, Saint Paul wrote: to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. — 1 Corinthians 1: 2&3.

Heavenly Father, you have blessed the church, the Body of Christ, above and beyond our imagination or expectation. Bless, guide, and protect every believer along with their families and individual concerns. May our words and prayers for your blessing strengthen and protect them daily in your care. Amen!

Christian, you are in the Lord’s army and service. You daily live at the battlefront lines of conflict! Stand up for Jesus in winning ways! Always put on your armor daily! We are daily praying for the Lord Jesus’ success through you — God’s saint. Amen.

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Roger Yoder of the Lock Haven United Methodist Parish (Swissdale, Liberty and Dunnstown churches).

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