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To Our Boys in Service

April 22, 1947

Dear Fellows:

You, no doubt, have noticed that Beacon Lights is an Illinois number this time.  While we were preparing material for this issue, the question came to our mind: What about a letter to our Boys in Service?  We were not informed that the faithful and regular contributor of a letter to our boys would contribute to this issue.  So we decided that under no considerations, you should be neglected.

You understand that it is quite possible that you would be neglected.  Not many of us at home are conscious of the fact that there are still some of our young men in service.  Fact is, most of the boys have returned.  Quite naturally, therefore, the few that remain in service might be forgotten.  South Holland has only one young man in service: and, as far as I know, Oak Lawn has not any.  So we trust that you would have forgiven us if we had forgotten you in this issue.

The fact that most of the boys are back from the service seems to indicate that the war is over.  But is it?  I can still remember a little of what transpired when World War I was concluded.  I was a lad then in knee breeches selling newspapers on the street.  Oh, how glad we were then when the news was flashed across the headlines that Germany had surrendered and the Bolsheviki had been subdued.  I remember mothers crying with gladness that the bloodshed had ceased and their loved ones who had not died would return again.  The whole atmosphere then seemed to bring you into a tranquil and complacent feeling that that was a war that would end all wars.

But I am older now and another war, more severe than its predecessor has been fought.  Again the philosophy persists that our boys have fought to end all wars.  And not only because we are older and have more sense than to believe this philosophy, but also because we have grown in the knowledge of the Scriptures and understand more perfectly its impossibility that wars should cease.  Besides, we see development in history, the complications of new weapons and a smaller world that bring with them the concentrated urge of sinful and depraved men not only to thirst for, but to usurp power and possessions.

Is the war over?  Not by any means!  And these are not the gloomy musings of a pessimist.  This is the conclusion of many in every walk of life.  Several there are of our national leaders who make bold to say that we have already begun World War III.

Perhaps you won’t like it that I write to you this time in these rather solemn tones.  Perhaps you would rather that I would dismiss the subject of war entirely.  Perhaps, too, you would appreciate it more if I would paint for you new vistas of hope and prosperity.  But facts are facts.  And we must face them sometimes whether we like them or not.  We must not be like that little newspaper lad I told you about a little while ago who in a carefree manner tossed his cap in the air and followed the crowd behind the effigy of Kaiser Wilhelm which hung from the electric pole on the trolley car.  Rather you and I should take our places alongside of the sages of Scripture and read with them the signs of the times.  And what will be our conclusion then?

It seems to me that there are especially two things we will consider.  First of all we conclude that the philosophy of a world peace is a devilish fallacy and an impracticable doctrine.  We will rather with the Scriptures in our possession, look for more wars and rumors of wars.

But this is not all!  For then indeed, we might be standing in the camp of gloomy pessimists who can only cry: Death! Death!

We, therefore, in the second place, will conclude that, though wars and rumors of wars persist, all is well!  We will lift up our heads, for we conclude also that when these things come to pass, that then surely our redemption draws nigh.  We will begin then more earnestly than before to look for Jesus Who rides above the black clouds of war and desolation upon the white cloud that shall bring Him to us, His redeemed, with His everlasting peace.

Is that your expectation, fellows?  Then, all is well!

So long and may God be with you!

Your friend in Christ,