Luther's Lumber


Sermon Outline By Terry Siverd

Cortland Church of Christ / November 05, 2017

As with every first day, we have gathered today to worship our God and Father.

Our worship to God has as a centerpiece a time to reflect on the sacrifice made on our behalf by our Lord and Savior.

On this particular Sunday (prior to Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11th), we have also paused to salute our veterans.

We do not do this to glorify war.  “War is HELL!”, as many who have been there declare.

No Christian in their right mind and no Christian with the heart of Jesus would ever find pleasure in war.

This morning we have expressed our love for our country with songs and with a collective pledge of allegiance.

America is not perfect - - no country is - - we have flaws that need to be continually mended.

As American citizens, and as Christians, we all have an obligation to try to help our country improve.

We have attempted to salute our veterans.  We are VERY GRATEFUL for their service to our nation.

Some of our veterans have served in “the heat of conflict”.

Elwood Stone fought with the U.S. Army in the battle of the bulge in WW II. 

Another Army Vet, Harold Hibbs, who passed away last year, fought in France and Germany with the 63rd Infantry.

Mark Lombardi, who passed away recently, served in Vietnam where he was shot down in a helicopter.

My mother had four sisters and two brothers, Elwood & Buddy Enfinger, who both fought in the heat of battle in WW II.

Cindy Clark’s brother, Scott McQuain, recently returned from a dangerous mission in Iraq, training Syrian rebel forces.

Olivia Wood, an Army Nurse, is now stationed in a MASH unit somewhere in Afghanistan.

Kenneth Davis is currently on assignment with the U.S. Marines in Kuwait.

Bobby Villers will soon be engaged in an exceptionally dangerous assignment with the Army in Afghanistan.

Others of our veterans have served in times of relative peace.

Whatever you did, you aimed to do well.  And your sacrifice and service to our country has been noteworthy.

The apostle Peter give this exhortation (1Pet.2:16) - -

Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God.

Some of our vets witnessed the full horror of war.

Sometimes in the worst of circumstances grace, mercy and kindness can surface in ways unimaginable.

Like the German fighter pilot Franz Stigler who disobeyed direct orders and refused to shoot down Charlie Brown.

Ernest Gordon tells of a platoon of American soldiers who witnessed a train full of Japanese wounded.

They were in a shocking state, I have never seen men filthier.  Uniforms were encrusted with blood, mud and excrement.

Their wounds crawled with maggots.  The wounded looked at us forlornly as they sat waiting for death.

They had been disregarded as expendable, the refuse of war.  These were our enemy.

‘Without a word most of the officers in my section unbuckled their packs, too out part of their rations and a rag or two,

and with their water canteens in their hands, went over to the Japanese train.  Our guards tried to prevent us,

but we ignored them and knelt down by the enemy to give water and food, to clean and bind their wounds.

Grateful cries, ‘Arigato’ (thank you) followed as we left.  I regarded my comrades with wonder.

Eighteen months ago they would have readily destroyed (the Japanese).  Now these same soldiers were

Dressing the enemy’s wounds.  We had experienced a moment of grace, there in the bloodstained railway cars.

God had broken through the barriers of our prejudice and had given us the will to obey His command, ‘Thou shalt love.’

The apostle Paul admonishes us to give HONOR to whom honor is due (Rom.13:7).

Sometimes those of us who have not served as veterans don’t quite know how to express our gratitude.

Those simple words, “Thank you”, seem inadequate.

Read “Luther’s Lumber”, an essay written by Joe Edwards (available online via Chicken Soup For The Veteran’s Soul).

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