Memorial Day

Dan Howard   -  

This coming Monday is Memorial Day. Many times, it is viewed as the unofficial kickoff to summer; the start of grilling and pool season. But its purpose is much greater. Started on May 30, 1868 to remember the loss of life in the Civil War. Now it serves to remember those who have sacrificed their lives that we might have the rights and privileges that we enjoy. To those family, friends and members of those who serve it is a much more significant day. It is a day that carries a lot of weight. On Monday the Armed Forces will remember and honor those men and women who did not return to their loved ones. They will remember the names and ranks of brothers and sisters who gave their life for one another. It is a day of white gloves, dress uniforms, precision salutes, and a lowered flag. It is a day of reverence and respect. As citizens we do our part by acknowledging that freedom is not free, but instead paid for in the lives of those who would defend it. We pause and remember valor and courage. Those who volunteered to serve took what was written in 1 John 3:16 to heart:

 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Or what Jesus himself says in John 15:

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

We are blessed to live in a free country. I thank God that He put men and women with a desire to protect and defend among us. In the same way I thank God for the freedom we have to spend eternity with Him because of His gift of forgiveness given to us through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Our spiritual freedom was not free either. It’s why you often hear the church say things like Jesus gave us victory over death. It was a fight; it was a battle. Everything that truly has value has a cost to it. Anything worth having needs to be fought for. And Jesus willingly laid his life down in defense, in purchase of His creation. He acknowledges this in John 10 when he says “I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

On Monday, let us remember all of those who have fallen in our defense. May God give the families of the fallen the peace that only He can bring. May they remember that because Christ lives, we will one day be reunited in the mansions of Heaven.

God bless my friends,

-Pastor Dan