This sermon was preached on Sunday, January 12, 2020.
This morning I want to talk a little about Justice and Peace. As we begin, it may be instructive to consider the cost of war.
The highest cost is human life. Not surprisingly, in terms of American lives lost, the most costly American war was our own Civil War, with more than 750,000 deaths, Union and Confederate. In descending order, the United States lost 405,000 lives in World War II, 116,000 lives in World War I, and 58,000 lives in Vietnam. That is a lot of dying. And statistics can never tell the whole story. A soldier knows he may die; a wounded soldier sometimes knows that he or she is going to die, but a soldier does not experience his or her own death. That curse falls to the soldier’s family, friends and nation. A soldier’s death creates widows and orphans and an empty place at the table; there is also the cost of what might have been. Which of these soldiers was to be the next great leader, like Eisenhower, or the next great saint like Schweitzer? Perhaps one of them would have put an early end to a major disease like cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Many would have been doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, engineers, good workers, good neighbors and good citizens.