I never feel right wishing a “Happy Memorial Day” because the whole purpose of this day is to honor the fallen service men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country and our freedom. Clearly, this is not cause to be happy. Though the Memorial Day weekend is marked with cookouts, picnics and other celebratory family times, we should truly consider the cost of those lives lost for the continuation of this nation.
Yesterday Beth and I visited McCauley Baptist Church and Pastor Scott had a great message about both Memorial Day and the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ on the cross. I cannot do the sermon justice in a short blogpost such as this, but it brought two scriptures to mind…one of which he covered in the message.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, KJV).
“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2, KJV).
The unselfish laying down of the life of a Servicemember is done to preserve our Constitution and our national freedom. It is done for the love of country and a duty to fight to keep the freedoms that we have gained.
The unselfish laying down of Christ’s own life is also done to preserve something…our souls. It is done out of love, the unconditional agape love that can only flow out from God, and it is the love of the pinnacle of His creation: mankind. It is done for eternal freedom…freedom from sin, death and eternal damnation…for every “whosoever” who believes (John 3:16) and calls upon the name of the Lord (Romans 10:9-13). No greater love than this!
When we remember…when we are in the house of mourning for these brave men and women…we consider the mortality of our own lives as well as the “mortality” of our freedoms if it was not for their sacrifice. Reverence and solemnity regarding the loss of America’s sons and daughters will bring about a new appreciation for our own individual freedoms under the Constitution. May we truly never forget.
So, for our men and women in uniform, I pray that Memorial Day will never be observed because of any of you, although that undoubtedly there are many in the service of the country right now who will indeed die in the line of duty. For my fellow veterans, I thank God that Memorial Day is not about us…we made it out alive! But for those who did give their lives fighting for this country, I pray for peace for their families and hope they were saved before they took their last breath. May we remember them with the fondness and love that they had for each of us as Americans.
God bless you, and God bless America! Pray for our ministry as we reach our men and women in uniform with the Gospel of Christ, so that they may have the assurance of eternal life with Jesus before they go into harm’s way.