“For thou has delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the Living” (Psalm 116:8-9).
November 10, 2011: Marines, former Marines, there are no ex-Marines, family members and friends around the world celebrate the 236th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps (USMC). There are as many opinions on military service as opinions on service to the Christian church and ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ. During my 10-years of service in this great military organization one concept was taught from day- one-to-day last, military service is service to God, Country and Corps, in that order and do not forget it. I never have and I never will. Marines—Christian, Catholic or any other religious persuasion had to maintain a proper perspective on service .
Some consider military service a contradiction to the dictates of religion and the precept of “thou shall not kill.” Somehow they manage to overlook the nine other “thou shall not’s” that we are commanded to hear and obey. It is my firm belief that military service, service of any kind is more than one-dimensional. If it were so, we would not have many of the
great patriarch of the Old Testament Scriptures, i.e. David, Joshua, Gideon or Abraham to name a few. There will always be conflicts in the earthly and spiritual realm we are only participants—some time willingly some time not so willing. God carry out His purposes in many ways and if we are to serve Him, we must serve Him wherever we find ourselves, in uniform or out.
“For those who fight to protect it, freedom has a flavor that the protected will never know” (Anonymous Serviceman). I am proud to have served and I thank God for
protecting me and placing in this place today. Below is the “Invocation” offered at the Beijing China United States Marine Corps Ball on the occasion of the 234th Anniversary of the Corps held at the China World Hotel Beijing November 21, 2009 by The Reverend Doctor Anthony A. ”Father Tony” Hutchinson, Anglican/Episcopal Priest:
Almighty God, you have given us our good country, the United States, for our heritage: We humbly pray you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought together there out of many kindreds and tongues.
Judge of the nations, endow with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through following law and conscience, we may become and continue to be a sign of hope and occasion for joy for all the nations of the earth. We pray that you sustain and support especially Barack, our President, and Jon, his personal representative here in China. At this time of peril due to worldwide economic woes, bless the leaders of all Peoples to discern how best to restore and create effective means of providing for the
needs to the world’s people. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, do not let our trust in you fail.
Lord of hosts, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be. As we prepare to celebrate the traditions and fellowship of the United States Marine Corps this evening, we pray especially for each Marine here present and throughout the world.
Give us grateful hearts, our Father, for all your gifts, and make us mindful of the needs of others. All this we ask for your tender mercy’s sake. Amen. “I trusted and I still trust, I cared and I still care. I would not have it any other way” (General Stanley McChrystal).
The Rev. Dr. Anthony A. Hutchinson, Anglican/Episcopal priest: “I am an American, now living in Beijing and on staff as chaplain at St. John’s Cathedral Hong Kong. I am Anglo-Catholic in faith and churchmanship, and am committed to a welcoming Church that embodies grace in its life and practice.”
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ—Leader of Marines
- The 2011 Marine Corps Birthday Messages Marks 236 Years of Honor and Dominance on the Field of Battle (moonwolves.wordpress.com)
- The Marine Corps’ 236th Birthday: Semper Fidelis (offthebase.wordpress.com)