They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
We still haven’t figured this one out. While almost everyone wants to live in peace, we continually find ourselves under the impression that the only way to achieve peace is by getting rid of our enemies. And so war goes on, creating more veterans with permanent physical and emotional scars. Where is their peace? And to quote a sign posted by a neighbor of mine, “What have we learned of war beyond the need to support our troops?”
“Thank you for your service,” is a welcomed greeting for some and a haunting reminder for others. Those who use the expression to gain or maintain political power often do little to provide much-needed care for veterans. And really, it’s not solely the responsibility of political leaders to care for those who have served in the military; the responsibility is all of ours.
Too many veterans commit suicide. Too many are homeless. Too many cannot afford adequate medical care. There are some great organizations, with which we can (and should) get involved, which provide care for those who have been too close to the gruesome realities of war.
Maybe we can celebrate this Veterans’ Day by reaching out to veterans we know with authenticity, care, and a sense of solemnity. We can honor their courage. We can pray for all veterans of war everywhere, even those we might call our “enemies.” We can work and pray for an end to war and violence of all kinds, that some day we might all live in peace.
A Collect For Peace
Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquility your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.