by Bob Wickizer

Another Advocate By Your Side
Bob Wickizer
Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:7-18; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21

This is a caveat for today's Memorial Day weekend sermon. I never served in the armed forces. I missed the draft by two numbers in the first Viet Nam era draft lottery. I want to thank those who have served in the military for their service. You may be amused to know that the word ''clergy'' comes from the Greek word ''kleros'' for ''lots'' as in ''they cast lots for his tunic.'' To be a member of the clergy means that the lot for this kind of ministry fell on you. For me, the lot for the military draft did not.

Over the years I have listened to the stories of returning American soldiers from wars spanning a century now and I have discovered a disturbing trend. When my grandfather's friends talked about World War I, I remember stories about mustard gas and other chemical agents that have now been banned by the Geneva Convention. It seems odd to think about morality in war time, but if we fail to draw boundaries about what we agree is humane or inhumane even in the context of killing one another, then in some respects we have forfeited our claim to be human and we have reverted to behaving like much lesser animals.

My father's generation of World War II vets talked about the Battle of the Bulge and how German officers infiltrated the American ranks dressed in American uniforms and speaking perfect American English. To my father, this was a horrifying betrayal of acceptable wartime behavior.

My friends who managed to survive Viet Nam told stories of children who were given live grenades and used as involuntary mobile explosives to blow up groups of American soldiers. It seems like with each passing war, the horrors of unacceptable behavior have grown worse and worse.

Today with a decade of war in the Middle East our own country seems to have crossed the line on more than one occasion. Regardless of the political administration, each time our co ...

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