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WEEKLY WORD – The Forgotten Holiday

By Pastor Matt Howlett, First Baptist Church, Charles City

Not long into summer, we begin to see the “back to school” items fill up the stores. Before school even starts though, Halloween decorations are filling up the isles. Even now, with Halloween less than a week away, Christmas decoration are creeping into the stores.

A few years ago, I remember walking through a department store that was in such a hurry to move onto the next things they had Christmas trees for sale right next to barbecues!

WEEKLY WORD - The Forgotten Holiday
The Rev. Matt Howlett

It seems we get into such a rush from one season to the next we no longer are taking the time to enjoy the precious moments.

With our fast-paced world, ready to quickly move from one thing to the next, sometimes even holidays get missed.

Veterans Day stand out as one such holiday. It is often confused with Memorial Day and Armed Services Day. It’s sandwiched in the time when our kids still have mounds of Halloween candy, and while we are stocking up for Thanksgiving dinners and making Christmas list.

Most schools and businesses no longer take the time to pause their normal schedules in observance of the day.

It can be easy to see why many unfortunately overlook this important day.

While not a Christian holiday, the spirit of our veterans captures what the Lord Jesus Christ tells us is the greatest expression of love in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Jesus Christ was the ultimate expression of love such as this, when he who was without sin took our sins upon himself so that we could have eternal life.

Jesus paid it all so that we can live free and have eternal life through him, washed clean by his sacrifice.

It is an expression of love most of us cannot understand. Yet it is an expression that is reflected in each and every veteran who chooses to accept the calling and serve their country.

Whatever reason someone enlists and no matter what experiences they have while they are serving, everyone who chooses to join the military knows, understands and accepts the risks when they enlist. Especially in todays’ ever increasingly chaotic world, our military men and women accept great risks.

So, this year after we sneak one more piece of our kids remaining Halloween candy, and before we begin to plan our Thanksgiving feasts, may everyone take some time to plan how we will honor the Veterans who have touched our lives this Nov. 11, and remember the words of Jesus Christ “greatest expression of love” as we do so.