A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity (Proverbs 17:17).
They are brothers though they come from different families. By ties weaved together under conditions of stress and difficulty, a group of people can become so tightly connected that they regard each other as true brothers, even if they are not related by blood—unless one counts spilled blood.
Civilians have heard about the Band of Brothers and have been entertained by Hollywood’s depiction of it. But those who have had their lives tied to a group like this know that there is more to it than can be seen on the screen or that they can explain to their families.
This type of brotherhood (which can include women) is often formed by former strangers undergoing such trying and dangerous times that they have become dependent upon one another to succeed, or maybe even to survive. “I’ve got your six!” has become, not merely a nice phrase but a promise that will be backed up with action.
The Bible shows that there is much more to the picture.
A brother like this was born for just such a time as this. In infinite wisdom, the Lord God knew what his servants were going to run into down the path of life. He knew that the time would come when those who placed their trust in him would need a friend who would be willing to risk his own life for the sake of his endangered brother.
The Lord of Life controlled when these people would be born. He enabled them to have the necessary training and skills. He saw to it that these very people would be gathered together at a specific time in history. He is the one who forms the Band of Brothers. We think in terms of coincidence and luck. He works by design.
It‘s humbling to think that, with no input from us, we were born to a certain set of parents, and a certain family, at a certain time, in a certain place on this globe. He did the same to place others into our Band of Brothers.
The God who promised: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) was preparing to keep that promise even before we were born. He was planning to establish a group that would be there for us when adversity arose. It fits in with a larger plan and a greater brotherhood. The Lord sent us a Brother from heaven.
He brought us into the family of God. He did it by spilled blood—our Brother’s blood. We have not seen him with our eyes, but we do have records of what our Brother has done. We have to be impressed. The Epiphany Season shows our Brother doing astounding things. Most would say, “Impossible things.” But we know better. We know his power is without end. Not only did he walk on water and heal the sick, but he also actually raised people from the dead.
Wouldn’t that have been something to see? We might wish that we had been there when he revealed his glory. That wish will be granted. He is coming back to pick us up for his return trip to heaven. Until then, he provides us with people who look out for us. He gives us brothers.
Our brothers, including the Son of God, are reasons for us to thank our heavenly Father. They are his gift to us.
Heavenly Father, as we walk our path in life you have brought in other people to walk part of the way with us. We thank you for those who are part of our natural family. You chose each one for this role for a special reason. But we also must thank you for those people who have become our brothers even though we are not related to them. You have used these brothers to uplift and support us. We pray that you will continue to provide such people when we need them in the future. We ask that we be enabled to be a brother to others.\
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer
WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military