Posted on 28 February 2013 by LeslieM

Our son, still a very young man, takes a well-deserved early retirement from the army this week. He returned from Iraq last year with more injuries than desires to explain them. But he is among the ranks of our more fortunate veterans who physically, mentally and emotionally survive the call to duty. Like most Americans, we are grateful. Like most parents, we are proud.

I remember our son as a young boy playing on the floor with those little green rubber soldiers. He would, as a child with pretense and make-believe, make sounds and crashing noises he would hear for real as a young man. I suspect he prays to forget those noises now …

It was a great privilege to see him carry the flag for his graduating class. A few years later, it was an even greater privilege for his mother and me to join a few thousand family members in the wee hours before sunrise to welcome home a few hundred of our soldiers.

It was joyful when the troops marched in formation to meet families straining to see and have that first glimpse of their soldier. All around us, we heard families when they saw their soldier excitedly call out, “There he is! There he is!”

It was somber when the troops once assembled were held in formation. There was a respectful silence that set upon this jubilant crowd when the troops were addressed by their commanding officer.

He gave thanks for each soldier being safely reunited with families and he gave thanks for the honored few who had already returned home, soldiers deployed with these troops the preceding year, but returned earlier, after having been seriously injured or after having given the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

Billy Graham once wrote on the topic of duty that “every generation is strategic. God will hold us responsible as to how well we fulfill our responsibilities to this age and how well or how poorly we take advantage of the opportunities we have.”

If you believe as I do that answering the call to duty for our nation is important then faint not at the idea, it is even more important that we answer the call to duty in the church Christ leads.

When Jesus says, “Come, you that are blessed” he challenges the very people who say we are his disciples to chose a path that is neither pretense nor make-believe.

It is the Christian’s uncomplicated call to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned. And we will be held to account as to how well or how poorly we take advantage of our abundant opportunities to do these things.


The Truth is we serve a Lord even greater than the greatest nation in the history of the world, who makes it possible for even fallen soldiers to reunite one day with loved ones.

JOHN 12:27

Jesus says, “For now my soul is troubled and what should I say — ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.”

Friends, these are among the reasons we are blessed to answer our call to duty!

Join us Saturday @ Six and Sunday morning at 8:30 or 11 a.m. The Sunday Message “Call to Duty” is based on Matthew 25: 31 – 40.

Reverend Andrews is Minister at Community Presbyterian Church of Deerfield Beach (Steeple on the Beach) located five blocks south of Hillsboro on AIA. See more @ or on Facebook.

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