When you hear the words “Memorial Day”, what does this holiday mean to you?
Our employers say it’s time to celebrate the long weekend with a Monday off from work. Our neighbors say it’s time for another home improvement project, yard work, and a family BBQ. Retailers declare a new “One Day Sale!” with the season’s biggest doorbuster deals.
A Korean War veteran I met said something very different.
War is Sacrifice
This week a local restaurant honored military veterans and their families. Throughout the restaurant there were multiple tables reserved; special signage and bright flowers designated the seating for the honorees. As my family and I ate lunch, I overheard a Korean War Veteran at the next table proudly recall his service to the country. As he began to recount the day he lost his best friend in combat, my heart sank. A single tear rolled down his cheek as he stared out the window. At that moment, I knew exactly what Memorial Day should be about.
Heroic men and women offered up their lives in the name of freedom. Their memory should never be overshadowed by a retailer’s latest marketing campaign. The freedoms we enjoy in this country should never be taken for granted.
Living Memorials for Jesus Christ
Just as countless servicemen and women have given their very lives for our liberty, in an infinitely greater way, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice when he laid down his life for our sins (John 15:13).
The memory of His sacrifice is often clouded by misplaced priorities. Like the most recent mega sale, our attention is diverted from what is most important. For example, we seem to care more about our social media followers and their ‘likes’ rather than His approval of the way we live our lives. The life that He died for.
But because God is a gentleman, He will not violate our freedom to choose. We can make a decision to embrace Him, or opt to follow our own way.
How many times have we taken for granted the freedom Christ has given us? As daughters and sons of God, we possess the privilege of unlimited access to Him in prayer.
With knowledge of this access, let’s take a minute to reflect: How much time did we spend last week alone worrying and being stressed instead of praying? When we walk in God’s power and exercise self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), we have freedom from the bondage of sin. Yet when temptation comes, how often do we fall apart and give in?
God has given us authority over the enemy (Luke 10:19) through the power of His Word. Have we taken the time to study the Word? Do we know how to use our weapons?
Take a few minutes as you enjoy this holiday to reflect on all that you’ve been given. Recognize that it has not been because of the work of your own hands. Freedom is never without a price.
So, what’s the Play Call?
Stand in gratitude and thanksgiving for all that has been sacrificed on your behalf (1 Thessalonians 5:18).