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Time to Count the Cost – G.I. Standard-bearer

Theban LegionKey Bible Verse:  “Remain faithful even when facing death, and I will give you the crown of life” Revelation 2:10

Bonus Reading:  Matthew 5:10-12

A panel of the stained glass window behind the West Point Cadet Chapel altar honors Maurice, the patron saint of the Infantry.

Maurice was brigade commander of the Theban Legion, composed entirely of Christians recruited from Upper Egypt.  In 287, it marched under Roman general Augustus Maximilian Hercules to crush the revolt of the Berguadae Gauls.

Maximilian ordered the offering of pagan sacrifices before battle near the River Rhone at Martigny (in modern France).  The Theban Legion refused to participate and withdrew to the town of Agaunum (now Saint Maurice-en-Valais).  They had also refused to kill innocent civilians in the conduct of their duty.  Enraged, Maximilian ordered every tenth man killed.  His order was carried out, yet they still refused.

A second time the general ordered Maurice’s men decimated; again they refused to offer sacrifices.  “We’ve seen our comrades killed,” Maurice replied. “Rather than sorrow, we rejoice at the honor done to them.”  At this, Maximilian ordered all the Thebans killed.

Isn’t it interesting that steely-eyed, snake-eating, bad-to-the-bone soldiers chose to emulate a man known for his faith and the overarching power of principle?

—Col. Mike Tesdahl, USA (Ret.), in Command

My Response:  What am I facing that requires undaunted courage?

Thought to Apply:  Fear God, fear sin, and then dear Britons, fear nothing! —Lord Horatio Nelson (British admiral)

Adapted from Command magazine (2/03)

Prayer for the Week:  Being an out-and-out disciple isn’t for wimps, Lord.  Give me what it takes to be all Yours.

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