One hundred and four years ago on this date, November 11, at 11 a.m., it was decided that all arms and weapons were to be laid down. The Great War or World War I—the war to end all wars, was finally ending and a decision to lay down arms and pursue peace was made. It is known as Armistice Day or better known now as Veterans Day. It is a day to celebrate both those who lost their lives in service as well as those who continue to serve today. It is a day for civilians to remember that because of the sacrifice of others, we enjoy great freedom. It is also a day to remember that not only do soldiers serve, but it is a sacrifice of their entire family who are not able to be with them and must live with the reality of the potential of a loss of life. Those are things that civilians often forget.
I am sure that there were some who did not lay down their weapons of war on that day long ago because humans have a hard time trusting their authority. I am also sure there were countries not happy about the outcome of the war. It had been brutal and the loss of life overwhelming. In a war there are always winners and losers, and I am sure the losers were angry and bitter. But I also think about all the people celebrating the ending. All the moms and dads, wives and siblings who had prayed for so long for their family member to come home. For all the children who would see their parents again, the celebrating must have been wonderful.
For the past couple of months, we have been inundated with another kind of battle. The fear mongering on television has overwhelmed and left us discouraged. All of the commercials share the goal of scaring us to death if our candidate does not win. Now that we are on the other side of the mid-term elections, let’s consider something else. Maybe it is time for us to lay down our weapons of warfare—our words, our thoughts, our fears, and live into a time of peace.
Long ago they thought World War I would be the war to end all wars. Sadly, they were wrong. I believe wars will always exist until Christ returns. He is and will always be our salvation. In politics we will all pick up our weapons again in two years and battle once more, but maybe for just a period of time, we lay those weapons down and seek peace with our brothers and sisters. It will not be easy, but I love the way the Apostle Paul challenges us to do the work. “If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people.” (Romans 12:18 CEB)