Remembering Memorial Day

I have always been a patriot, and I love our country. No nation is perfect, and the United States does not claim to be. However, there has never been a country built upon the principles of liberty as the United States has. Even when we’ve recognized obvious hypocrisies within our framework we have faced our wrongs and worked hard to make them right. We are still doing so.

Here is a truth about me that I do not share with many people: I cannot watch a war movie without crying. When I think of the thousands of soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen who served, sacrificed, and faced unfathomable terror to keep our nation and the world free from tyranny I cannot help but get emotional. In fact, tears are welling up in my eyes even as I write this.

Having a son who was twice deployed to combat zones and returned safely home makes Memorial Day even more emotional for me. While I rejoice that he was protected from harm’s way, I know that thousands of parents like me have a much different experience. Therefore we not only remember those who have fallen, but their families and loved ones also.

For followers of Jesus every day serves as a type of Memorial Day as we remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for our sins. Scripture tells us that the each one of us deserves death for our sins (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:22). Our freedom was paid by the blood of Christ. His death liberated us from our sin, and all who put their faith in him know this freedom:

Acts 13:38-39 — “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.

Romans 8:1-2 — Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

We are surrounded by people who are still living in slavery to sin; we have been called to tell them that a Savior has come to set them free. Memorial Day is a reminder that our freedom comes with a cost. Our salvation comes at an even greater cost.

Your servant in Christ,

pastor mike