Monday, November 11, 2013

A Bold and Different Kind of Thank You for Veterans

Several times a year, we quite publicly thank the many men and women who have offered, in many cases, their lives to the defense of the American way of life – Freedom, and we SHOULD honor our Veterans. But I often wonder what we are doing with the freedom for which these brave men and women risked their lives. The United States is a land where we can FREELY worship the Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – in the ancient and Orthodox Christian way.

  1. Do we take full advantage of this freedom to attend as many Church services as possible to commune with God?
  2. Do we take full advantage of this freedom to put our agenda aside and help the suffering and oppressed?
  3. Do we take full advantage of this freedom to share the Gospel of Christ with our friends, neighbors, customers, clients, employees and coworkers?
  4. Do we take full advantage of this freedom to read and study the Holy Scriptures and writings of the Holy Fathers and Mothers of the Church?

  1. Do we use every available excuse of busy family schedules and spend Sundays and Feast Days away from the Church?
  2. Do we “throw” a few dollars at some charitable agency so we don’t have to feel guilty about those suffering around us?
  3. Do we keep the “best kept secret in America” to ourselves?
  4. Do we buy a Bible, just to keep it on the shelf and MAYBE dust it off every year just before the annual Christmas party?

Our American way of life, which has been defended by so many valiant men and women, shouldn’t be used for our own pleasure and comfort, but for the mission of Jesus Christ. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10.10) He didn’t mean “the good life” as we think of it today. Rather, Jesus came that we might be reunited with Him, and live forever. We should embrace the freedom we have as Americans, and focus our attention on uniting ourselves to Christ and His way of life.

This year, why not thank a Veteran IN PERSON, and follow that up with attending a Church service or reading about the faith. Then maybe you won’t worry so much about yourself and think about those suffering around you more. It was a Veteran who thought more about YOU and defended YOUR freedom, and risked his/her own life. You owe to that veteran to use your freedom for a holy purpose. Personally, I think that would be a better way to honor our veterans.

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