November 11

Hebrews 10:11-14

“For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” vs. 14

Today is Veteran’s Day, a time set aside annually to honor all those who have served in the military forces of our country. Originally it was called Armistice Day and commemorated the ending of World War 1 on November 11, 1918, The name was changed to make it more inclusive. WWI was not the “war to end all wars,” and there is now a seemingly endless procession of veterans to be honored. Their time of service is understood as an offering made for the benefit of all. In Jerusalem that’s how the work of the priests was understood, a regular daily offering that covered ongoing sins–and even Christians participated. But then the temple was destroyed in 70 CE and the sacrificial system came to an end. It was at that point that the writer of Hebrews put forward a new perspective. He wrote that by the single offering of his life Jesus had taken care of sin’s punishment for all time. But just as WWI did not end war for all time, Jesus’ death hasn’t stopped sinning in our world. We are called to be daily on the alert for the temptations and diversions that cause so much turmoil. The good news is that we don’t need to carry with us all the guilt and shame of the past. We are the army of the forgiven, and armed with love and hope we continue to be the presence of Christ in the world–and every day is a time to honor that mission!

Thought for the Day: Who am I remembering today?

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