Dear friends, today in the USA we reflect upon the price of freedom. Memorial Day is set aside to preserve the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and given their lives for the cause of freedom in this great nation. As many have said, we are the land of the free because of the brave.
Many families have a branch in their family tree representing someone who has served in the US armed forces, perhaps even someone who has died on the battlefield. Thank you for your service, thank you for your courage, thank you for your sacrifice. It is not in vain. You have my deepest respect and appreciation. As Jesus himself said,
Greater love has no man than this:
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends1Embed from Getty Images
And so we remember…yet how easily we forget. Amongst the barbecues and swim parties and camping trips and shopping and maybe just cleaning the house, it’s easy to take the day for granted.
And so we remember…because intentional remembering protects us against apathy concerning the cost of freedom. It encourages us to respect the sacrifices made on our behalf. It offers us a glimpse of what could have been had someone not fought on our behalf.
And if we think long and hard enough about those willing to lay down their lives for their family and friends, it reminds us of the greatest of loves:
the love that causes one to
lay down his life for his enemies2
So as we remember the fallen, we must remember the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ for his enemies (that would be you and me) to offer us freedom. We must remember not only his death but his resurrection, because this is where our hope comes from, regardless of what country we call home. Whether we worship in freedom or at risk of our lives, our ultimate hope is in the One who appeared fallen on the battlefield but who ultimately swallowed up death by the power of His resurrection.
Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?
Death has been swallowed up in victory
Through our Lord Jesus Christ.3
So remember those who have sacrificed for the great cause of our nation’s freedom. Remember those who have died on foreign battlefields fighting against tyranny and evil. And remember the One who has died to set us free from the battles raging in our own hearts, giving us His resurrection power to overcome sin and bring light and freedom to a world bound by darkness.
31 Corinthians 15:54-57