Thankful They Embraced the Risk

I thank God today for the service and the sacrifice of 24.5 million veterans in America.

Today is Veteran’s Day. Formerly it was Armistice Day because on November 11, 1918 in a railway carriage in Compiengne Forest in France the Armistice with Germany was signed that ended World War I where 116,516 American soldiers died.

signing of the Armistice November 11, 1918.

There are 9.5 million veterans older than 65. 2.3 million are black. 1.1 million are Hispanic. 276,000 are Asian.

When soldiers came to John the Baptist and asked, “What shall we do”—meaning, “How shall we respond to your call to repent?”, John answered, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages” (Luke 3:14).

From this we learn that repentance did not demand ceasing to be a soldier. The tensions between being a follower of Jesus as a soldier are essentially the same as the tensions of being a follower of Jesus in all the other authority structures of society that God ordains for the stability of the world (like business, education, government, and family).

There have been agonizing choices the veterans have had to make. May they (and we all) turn to the cross of Christ for the final resolution of what we have done. I am thankful they embraced the risk.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.