Happy Memorial Day, it almost seems like a tragedy to use both of those words in the same sentences. I want to share just a bit of what Memorial Day means to me and what it means to others. But first, a quote is in order: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” — General George S. Patton
Memorial day is a time to celebrate a freedom given to us by the sacrifice made by another. It is a time, as General Patton said, to celebrate and not to morn, a time to give back, because God knows, I have taken for granted so much for so long. This is a time to remember and to acknowledge the deeds of others. This is a time to come together and to hear stories about what someone went through in order to give what we have today. For me, Memorial Day is a time to see the world through someone else’s eyes, so I can appreciate what I have.
To me this is the essence of Memorial Day, not to morn. Over the dead, but rather celebrate the lives they lived and give thanks, first to God who gives life and then to the Hero’s that God has called to serve us in times such as these.
As I reflect on this day, the words of Jesus found in the book of John 15:12-17 brings a great reminder as to how we are to treat each other, while in service to Him. I have personally found, it is an act of love to give up your life, and doing so for your friends is the greatest of all! The words of Jesus here are very profound and they make me want to take a closer look to make sure I fully understand them for my own life, and can share them with my family, friends, and anyone I can. Greater love has no one than this; Jesus doesn’t just emphasis love, but He states it as Greater love. The emphasis means more than the love that we encounter each and every day, this love is the finest, of the fine, it is the greatest of what makes love great. Yet in this verse Jesus teaches the measure of love believers should have for each other. As born-again children of God, our love should be self-sacrificing; the outcome to this is death, if necessary. Christ died for us because of a love that He has for us. He proved His love by His death on the cross, but we must remember that Christ not only died for His friends, but for His enemies as well. “For we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly, and God commanded His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6,8) Love can go no further. Dying for one who we love is the greatest possible demonstration of love. Just as we have seen this example today as we honor all those who gave their lives for our freedoms, so must we view the example of Christ as a standard to this very love. That Christ died for both friend and foe. Christ knew the value of such sacrifice, and just like our hero’s He gave the ultimate sacrifice. The love shown here is for all, and God wants you to know this love that He gives freely to each and every one of us.
God not only gave us this love as a model, He also commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves. I know that is, at times, a very difficult task. But I want to challenge you this week, to pray for that one person you feel least deserves to be prayed for. I want to you love that one person in your life that you have been holding back due to whatever the circumstance is. I want you to forgive someone who is too prideful to seek it out from you first. What I am asking is to give and not seek anything in return. After all, loving someone isn’t the result of what they did, its the result of what we do.
Be blessed this day, and this week. If you want to share with me someone I can be praying for, in any circumstance, please let me know.
May the peace of God find you in all that life tries to distract you from!