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The Veteran

As Christians it is our obligation to pray for those who protect our land in the face of fierce enemies. We also remember those who have paid the supreme price for liberty. These things we should do, but the truth is there is a war raging today that is of greater magnitude and importance that WWI or WWII. This is a war of cosmic proportions that has been going on for thousands of years. It is the war between God and Satan, between Good and evil, between Light and darkness. And the casualties of this war are not those who lose their physical lives, but lose their eternal souls.

There are two opposing armies in this war. On the one side there is the army of darkness led by Satan On the other side stands the army of light led by Almighty God, the Lord of Hosts.

One of the great veterans of this cosmic conflict was the apostle Paul. At the end of his life St. Paul summed up his years of service in a final letter to Timothy. He wrote, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (II Tim. 4:6-8) St. Paul wrote these words from prison in Rome while awaiting his execution. The apostle had “fought the good fight” in service to the Lord. What do we need that we might also fight the good fight of the faith?

Number one on the list of the things we need is commitment. In writing to the Philippians St. Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21) This was another letter written from prison. On several occasions St. Paul was a POW for Christ. For him “to live is Christ,” i.e., his aim in life was to serve and to honor Christ at any cost. To Timothy he wrote, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (II Tim. 2:3,4)

Without such commitment we will surely fail. Thomas Paine, during the darkest days of the American Revolution, wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country.” There are far too many summer soldiers and sunshine patriots in the Church today, which accounts for the increase of darkness in the land.

To be effective a soldier must also be properly equipped. Writing to the Ephesians, while once again a prisoner chained to a Roman soldier, St. Paul said, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11) He goes on to speak of several pieces of military equipment, such as the belt of truth. Truth is under attack today as we are bombarded by enemy propaganda. Our protection is found in knowing the truth. St. Paul spoke of the Word of God as being the sword of the Spirit. To be ignorant of God’s Word renders us defenseless. For a Christian to not know the Scriptures is like a soldier going into battle without his rifle. It is no wonder that Christians are often defeated by Satan’s lies. St. Paul wrote of several other pieces of necessary equipment in Ephesians 6:10-20, which I would recommend to your study.

A third essential for a victorious army is unity. There is no such thing as a one man army. As we read the book of Acts we observe that the apostle Paul was always accompanied by others on his missionary tours. In practical terms how do we achieve unity? First, we need to pray for each other. Prayer unites us to both God, our Supreme Commander, and with our fellow Christians. We need to also come together to build up our morale. In Hebrews we are told, “And let us consider how to stir one another up to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:24, 25) The easiest way to defeat an army is to divide it. Strength and victory are found in our unity.

A final thing soldiers need is hope. Even while awaiting execution St. Paul expressed great hope. “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” The apostle’s hope was beyond this world, which is a battlefield. Like any soldier in a foreign land he longed for home. There is a peace beyond war; a peace that will be final and eternal. We need that hope to keep us going when the fight is fierce and the days dark.

All Christian’s are veterans; veterans of the biggest and most important war in history. St. Paul, a great veteran of that war, tells us what we need to not only survive, but to be victorious. We would be well advised to meditate deeply on his words and to apply them. Our very lives depend on it.

by Rev. F. M. Levi
(From a sermon preached on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, 2007)


Parish News

St. Andrew’s Preschool had its Thanksgiving Program, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007. The children dressed up like pilgrims and Indians and sang a number of songs of the season.

The Community Thanksgiving Service was held at Faith Christian Reformed Church on Sunday evening, Nov. 18, 2007.

The Feast Day of St. Andrew was celebrated Friday evening, Nov. 30, 2007 with a potluck dinner in the Parish Hall, followed by the Service of Holy Communion in the chapel. The offering went to the Anglican Relief and Development Fund.

During the coffee hour on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007, the Woman’s Guild had a Bake Sale and Christmas Bazaar to raise money for various projects. They want to thank those who supported them by their donations and purchases.

A new top was manufactured and installed on the conference table in the vestry. We wish to thank Tony’s Formica in Alsip for doing an excellent job at a very reasonable price.


Missionary of The Month

Sue Brodish, Christian Kindergarten. Siebenburgener Weg 16. Schwalmstadt Germany.



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Happy Birthday!

Jan. 1 - Judy Ashmore
Jan. 6 – Elaine Spencer
Jan. 8 – Shirley Drobnak
Jan. 11 – Laura Sutton
Jan. 11 – Henry Leenstra
Jan. 12 – Marie Bowman
Jan. 14 - George Yapp
Jan. 18 - Janet Toomey
Jan. 18 – Caroline Robertson
Jan. 19 – William Garrison
Jan. 26 – David Sutton
Jan. 27 – Paul Christenson

 

by Helen Kitchell Evans

Steadily the old year passes;
Another year arrives again.
Will it bring a better way
To stamp out greed in hearts of men?

Another year extended to us
By our Lord’s amazing grace;
Another chance to overcome
The problems of our human race.

Another year of striving
To find a way for peace;
Another chance for planning
How to make wars cease.

Another year, the time flies on!
The rate is ever faster!
Let us cherish every hour
As we try to serve our Master.

 


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The Very Reverend Frank M. Levi, M.A., Rector    Bishop Franklin H. Sellers, D.D., Rector Emeritus    The Reverend Derrick Hassert, Ph.D., Curate    18001 94th Avenue   Tinley Park, IL 60487    (708) 614-7404    FAX (708) 614-7435 AndrewREC.org Home Contact the Webmaster Sign our guestbook View our guestbook

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