Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Connections to Home

I was talking to one of the Majors working in our building today, and found out he is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin, as am I. He had graduated a year before I started, but it was fun to reminisce about Madison with a fellow Badger.

Then later today I got an email talking about VBS at our church, which is always one of the best times of year. It made me smile to think of all the kids running around and learning about Jesus!

And it reminded me that it's little remembrances of home which are so important over here. Part of it is to remind me of what we're fighting for. I know this war is an abstraction for most Americans; it's hard to conceive of a war on "terror." That's partially due to the beauty of what we're fighting to protect: a safe secure homeland, where people of different races, religions and politics can live in peace. We take if for granted that our kids can go to VBS without harassment.

Our success, as Americans, in finding peace at home blurs our ability to see evil and understand what we're fighting. I've explained- in this last week- that I'm worried about our ability to sustain this fight without a larger Army. But do we, as a nation, see clearly enough the need for this war to end successfully? Do we see it clearly enough to do what it takes to prevail?

I can't answer that. My job is to minister to the guys and gals over here. Tomorrow at Chapel we'll be looking at Jesus' words to the Church at Smyrna in Revelation Ch. 2. He spoke about enduring the testing of Satan, saying "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer." The early Christians understood the reality of evil. Our calling is also to maintain our faith in the midst of trials and testing from Satan. Jesus called the church at Smyrna rich, even though they were poor. I fear that we may rely too much on our own riches and yet neglect our spiritual poverty because we're comfortable! The Church at Smyrna was one of two churches that Jesus only spoke about in positive terms. Are we more like Smyrna, or more like Laodicea, and its lukewarm attitude?


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