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Chaplain's Weekly Devotional

True to the Corps - A Chaplain's Thoughts on "Days of Remembrance"

Week of November 9-15, 2014   

        This week we clelbrate Veteran’s Day.  Grandma knew it as Armistice Day.  As a boy, it was a day off from school.  As a young soldier it became a “long weekend.”  As a parent, it turned into a family day, as we celebrated our oldest son’s birthday.  Nowadays for me though, it always goes back to an old rusting helmet hanging on a nail in my Grandmother’s garage.

       I never knew my great Uncle Walter.  He died when I was small and all I knew was that he’d left an old helmet hanging on the wall in Grandma’s garage.  It was much later when the garage and the helmet were gone that my mother talked about how he had been in the ‘War to End All Wars.”  Until then, that war was simply another list of facts to remember for some school project.  You know what I mean, ten million dead from wounds, twenty million dead from disease, hunger, six million crippled, etc., etc.  Now though, when I think of Veteran’s Day I think about a helmet left hanging on a wall and when I put the face of my own soldier son under that helmet, well suddenly it’s more than a long weekend.  Maybe THAT’S the problem with “National Holidays.”  For most of us, they just commemorate lots of numbers or events of long ago and because most of us can’t relate, the day loses its meaning and maybe THAT is the key to making ALL of our upcoming holidays more meaningful.  

       When the Psalmist tried to give thanks for all that God had done in Psalm 106, it was just a list of miracles, but then he added “Remember ME, too, LORD, when you show favor to your people; …  Let ME share in the prosperity of your chosen ones.”  In other words, for God’s blessings to be real the Psalmist had to PERSONALIZE all that God had done.  In the end, whether the holiday becomes a Day of Remembrance or just another day off may well depend on the face we place under the day. 

 I'm Chaplain Joel Harris, hoping you have a GRACE DAY!