Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Days

Memorial Day as we know it is supposed to be a day of remembering those who've died for this country, especially in military service. Frankly, I wish there was a greater focus on the sacrifices many, many thousands of men and women have given for this nation. While BBQ and time at the beach are wonderful things, especially when enjoyed with friends and family, too much attention is paid (IMO) to the trappings and not enough to the somber occassion. Regardless of which "side" one is on, it is to these people that we owe the rights we enjoy today. And they are also the people who have protected us from those who have wished us harm. We shouldn't neglect that.

That being said, I find it helpful to focus on another memorial in addition to remembering the men and women who've given their lives for this country. That memorial is described in Luke 11:
(23)For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, (24)and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." (25)In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." (26)For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes

What made this sacrifice unique was the identity of the sacrifice, and the end result. Jesus died on the cross, God Himself, so that we may have a way out of our self-made destiny of Hell. He gave Himself up that we may be delivered from our own sin, our own folly, our own choosing to rebel against God. And He died so that He might be raised from the dead. Unlike the brave military members, Jesus rose again, conquering death. His memorial is a celebration; no longer need we fear death. We have a means of restoration, we can accept redemption. God loved us so much to give the ultimate sacrifice - and then He exceeded even that by raising His son back to life.

We should not trivialize or minimize the sacrifice of those who've died in service to this country. In many ways, these men and women live out the greatest love that laid down life for others. But the sacrifice God Himself made, nigh on 2000 years ago, was of infinite value because it allowed us to have a relationship with Him for eternity. Remembering that sacrifice, what it means, and what we owe for the sacrificer is not just an Easter thing. That's a memorial we should observe every day.

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