From All Saints until Veterans Day, I’m posting a blog series on soldier saints at Centurions Guild. “Ten Saints, Ten Days” explores ten lives, their context, and their relevance to soldiers today. In the Bible, the number ten signifies completion and wholeness—something many soldiers today do not feel. The moral complexity of their service is too often brushed away with a quick “thank you” or an upgrade to first class. But soldiers’ experiences, their testimonies, are part and parcel to the integrity of the church—especially in this time of war. A theologically credible account of war requires the voice of soldiers, the actual bodies that participate in it.
Many churches, including mine, will mark All Saints Day this Sunday. Of course, politics will also be on everyone’s mind. At first it seemed to me that the two have little in common, but then several connections occurred to me.
Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18; Psalm 149; Ephesians 1:11-23; Luke 6:20-31
Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9 or Isaiah 25:6-9 (Psalm 24); Revelation 21:1-6a; John 11:32-44
Revelation 7:9-17; Psalm 34:1-10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12
I was in Cuba this summer on a mission trip, when our host pastor, Héctor Méndez, approached me, his face grave and drawn. “They have attacked a Presbyterian hospital and school in Pakistan,” he said, “and people have been killed.”