Youth and age each has its ad­van­tages

Lodi News-Sentinel - - RELIGION -

Sun­day is Vet­er­ans Day. In fact, this Sun­day, Nov. 11, 2018, is the 100th an­niver­sary of the sign­ing of the armistice that ended the war to end all wars, World War II.

For those who napped through this ses­sion in his­tory class, Vet­er­ans Day was formerly known as Armistice Day. Congress en­acted the ob­ser­vance in 1926 to mark the end of the First World War on Nov. 11, 1918. In the af­ter­math of World War II and the con­flict in Korea, Congress in 1954 changed the name of the hol­i­day to Vet­er­ans Day, in honor of all Amer­i­can armed per­son­nel who have served the na­tion in wartime.

This Sun­day at the Ham Lane Church of Christ, we are go­ing to honor all those among us who have served past, present and fu­ture and pray for them and the fam­i­lies who sup­port them.

Dic­tionary.com de­fines “vet­eran” as: “(1) an old sol­dier of long ser­vice; (2) a for­mer mem­ber of the armed forces; (3) a per­son of long ex­pe­ri­ence in some oc­cu­pa­tion or skill.”

I leave it to the reader to de­cide how “old” one must be to be rec­og­nized as an “old sol­dier,” or what span of time is im­plied by “long ser­vice” or “long ex­pe­ri­ence.” What­ever the pe­riod, the word “vet­eran” sum­mons up the image of a per­son of longevity, en­durance and per­se­ver­ance, not the “new kid on the block.”

The apos­tle Paul wrote “that the older men be sober, rev­er­ent, tem­per­ate, sound in faith, in love, in pa­tience” (Ti­tus 2:2). Again, I won’t im­pose my view of “older” on any of you male read­ers; but I won­der does Paul’s de­scrip­tion fit you? Would you de­scribe your­self as a “vet­eran” Chris­tian man?

By the way, “older” sis­ters (and you know who you are!), the Scrip­tures de­scribe your re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as “vet­er­ans” too: “be rev­er­ent in be­hav­ior, not slan­der­ers, not given to much wine, teach­ers of good things … ad­mon­ish the young women” (Ti­tus 2:34). How well does that word pic­ture de­scribe you?

As the wise man noted, “The glory of young men is their strength, and the splen­dor of old men is their gray head” (Proverbs 20:29).

Nei­ther youth nor age is in­her­ently su­pe­rior. Each has its ad­van­tages, and its place in the Lord’s king­dom. The beauty of be­ing a “vet­eran” lies not in sim­ply hav­ing sur­vived a long time, but in the wis­dom and dis­ci­pline that can be gained from a life­time of obe­di­ent faith. (Whether we in­deed gain these qual­i­ties is up to each of us.)

“Re­mem­ber those who rule over you, who have spo­ken the word of God to you, whose faith fol­low, con­sid­er­ing the out­come of their con­duct” (He­brews 13:7). We do well to honor the “vet­er­ans” among us, faith­ful Chris­tians whose lives of ser­vice tes­tify to the riches of Christ. Each of us should strive for “vet­eran” sta­tus, be­com­ing ex­am­ples wor­thy of im­i­ta­tion. CHAD ERIC D ONLEY Post Chap­lain, Lodi Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 22 Lodi

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