Illustration: During recent upheavals in our nation, GA’s Soldiers and Airmen have once again answered the call to serve. Our chaplains and assistants are right there alongside other Soldiers and Airmen. Pictured above is 1-121 Infantry chaplain, CH Phillips, speaking with his fellow Soldiers, encouraging them, speaking truth to them, while they were all deployed to Washington D.C.
As I spoke with him and the other chaplains, I was struck that I never heard about division among the ranks based on race or gender or politics. I just heard, “My guys were doing this, so I was there” or “The Airmen were over there, so that’s where I went.” I never heard, “Well, folks separated based on their identity groups and no one spoke to each other.”
The Soldiers and Airmen were a unit; they had a mission; they did not fracture over skin color, or over liberal vs. conservative, or over any of the other stuff that keeps so many in our nation polarized and on edge. And there, in their midst, were the chaplains/shepherds, tending America’s Service Members.
Most Service Members were guarding with guns and ammo; the chaplains were guiding with the spiritual shepherd’s staff, tending the flock over which the Lord appointed them.
Scripture: In Ephesians, Paul penned these words: “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Eph 4:25, ESV). Paul was reminding the Ephesians that, if they were Christians, they were to be truth-tellers. Their lives were to be characterized by truthfulness. They were to have “put away falsehood.” It was only when truth was the foundation that true unity could be established.
Encouragement: There are calls by politicians and bureaucrats for unity. But unity, according to God, comes when the medium of exchange is truth. When I look across our formation, I see chaplains shepherding our Soldiers and Airmen and their families. May the Lord raise up more who are redeemed by the way, the truth, and the life, to be voices of truth. May they shepherd well and point them to the One who sticks closer than a brother.
One thought on “Closer Than a Brother”
Truth is the critical element that too often is ignored or apparently dismissed as secondary, even by professed Christians. Yet in prophetic lists of God’s priorities, telling truth and refusing to bear false witness receive emphasis. Thank you, Jon, for the focus on truth and its correlation with the recent noble execution of an important mission by Georgia National Guard personnel.