Every year, Nov. 11 is recognized in the United States as the national holiday of Veterans Day. Originally bearing the name Armistice Day, the date was officially made a holiday on May 13, 1938. It was a recognition and remembrance of the signing of the “armistice” between Germany and the Allied forces on Nov. 11, 1918 during World War I. Following the Korean War, the veterans service organizations lobbied to have the name changed to “Veterans Day,” and on June 1, 1954, it was officially given the title we have today. Regardless of the name, Americans have always valued and understood the importance of remembering those who have served our country. There is something special about men and women who have devoted, and sometimes given, their lives in sacrifice and service to their flag, to their fellow servicemen and servicewomen and to their country.
Sacrifice and service are qualities that are universally viewed as admirable. Many books, songs and screenplays alike have been written about those who have selflessly served others and sacrificed for the greater good of their cause. This concept of sacrifice, at its core, is the very essence of Christianity. When indignation arose after the mother of James and John asked Jesus for favor for her sons in the kingdom, Jesus responded by saying that selfish thinking was not part of being one of His followers. In fact, He said that, “whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave” (Matthew 20:26-27).
Service and sacrifice are the highest attributes a Christian can possess. Even Jesus, in speaking of Himself said, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (20:28). Our own Lord came in a serving manner, sacrificing Himself for us, so that we might live. Christianity is about service, about love. It means putting others first before self. Every day it starts all over. If you desire to be His disciple, you must “take up your cross daily” and follow Him (Luke 9:23). So, as we honor and remember those who have served our country, let us not forget the importance of serving our Lord.