Remember the Sacrifice of Memorial Day

My Beloved of 52 years served in the Air Force for 22 years. We lived all over the world and the sacrifices were many. But none like the sacrifices we remember on Memorial Day.

Yesterday, Keith asked our church family to remember the sacrifices that preserved the freedom that we enjoy in America. He shares it with you today.

Jesus told His disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:13

Service members we honor came from all walks of life, but they shared several fundamental qualities: possessed courage, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty, and integrity—all the qualities needed to serve a cause larger than one’s self. Served knowing the risk was great, but the cause greater.

Many did not ask to fight on distant battlefields—many didn’t even volunteer.  They were called to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Several years ago, I had the privilege of attending an event at California State University, San Bernardino where there was a panel of Medal of Honor winners.  In every case, they were ordinary people who responded in extraordinary ways in extreme times.  In almost all cases they were just trying to protect their soldiers.

We have awarded medals to many soldiers, added their names to monuments, and named buildings after them, to honor them for their bravery.  But nothing can replace the hole left by a fallen service member, and nothing can comfort the ones left behind.

My favorite song on Memorial Day is “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood.  I’m not a singer so I will read a few lines.  

And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA.  

We say God bless to those who have given their lives to make America strong and to those who remain prepared to fight for us today.  

Please stand and join me in prayer:

Father, we stand before You today to thank You for all that we enjoy—the freedom, the privileges, and our ability to worship You. We thank You for those who have gone before us and paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy our freedoms. We pray for those who are in the military today and ask that You keep them safe. We pray for the families and friends who have lost loved ones in those situations.  

Most of all, we thank You for Jesus who paid the ultimate sacrifice by laying down His life for our sins, so that we can know Your love and look forward to spending eternity with You.  Amen.

Please take a few minutes out of your day to remember those who laid down their lives for their friends.

Please say a prayer of thanks for the freedom we enjoy.

Keith’s meditation and prayer.

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