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Posts Tagged ‘memorial day’

Memorial Day 2017

arlington

While many consider this weekend to be the official start of summer, it has a very different purpose. Memorial Day is set aside to honor those who died in service to our nation.

An estimated 7,000 American service members have died in combat since 2001. That huge number represents the greatest sacrifice that one can make. They counted others greater than themselves. They stood up to fight for a cause. They died so that someone else could live.

In John 15, Jesus teaches his disciples to, “love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Selfless service and sacrifice are not words to idly throw around. They demonstrate the love of Christ, the one who was crucified for the entire world. His example shows the tremendous love of heaven. His example shows how much he values us. His example shows how deeply he cares for you and me.

When someone dies in our place, as a substitute, we should take note. It is humbling. It is loving. It is the ultimate sacrifice that one can offer.

As conflicts continue across the globe, let us remember those who have died so that we may live. Take time to remember those who protect our freedoms. Remember to pray for our service members, their families, and our nation.

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arlington

While many consider this weekend to be the official start of summer, it has a very different purpose.  Memorial Day is set aside to honor those who died in service to our nation.

An estimated 665,000 American service members have died in combat since 1775. That huge number represents the greatest sacrifice that one can make.  They counted others greater than themselves.  They stood up to fight for a cause.  They died so that someone else could live.

In John 15, Jesus teaches his disciples to, “love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Selfless service and sacrifice are not words to idly throw around. They demonstrate the love of Christ, the one who was crucified for the entire world. His example shows the tremendous love of heaven. His example shows how much he values us. His example shows how deeply he cares for you and me.

When someone dies in our place, as a substitute, we should take note.  It is humbling.  It is loving.  It is the ultimate sacrifice that one can offer.

As conflicts continue across the globe, let us remember those who have died so that we may live. Take time to remember those who protect our freedoms. Remember to pray for our service members, their families, and our nation.

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arlington

Greater love has no one than this:  to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  John 15:13

Those are poignant words at any time of year, but they ring loud in the heart of our nation during Memorial Day.  We remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  We honor their sacrifice in the defense of liberty, their love of country, and their devotion to family and friends.

Take time this weekend to reflect on the people who have died for you.  They are not merely black letters on a tombstone.  These names are the husbands, wives, sons, daughters, loved ones, and battle buddies who are missed every day.  Pray for the countless families and friends who are suffering with loss this weekend.

May God comfort their pain and grant them the peace of Christ, the one who died for all mankind.

 

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memorial_day

For many, this weekend marks the beginning of summer.  It will entail a trip to the lake, a national park, or just staying home to grill some brats. Others will attend patriotic parades, decorate grave sites, fly the American flag, or participate in a Memorial Day event.    

It is a weekend when we remember those who have died defending our nation, our freedom, and our principles.  It is estimated that nearly 1.3 million service members have died and an additional 1.5 million service members were wounded fighting for our country.  Speakers and politicians will highlight stories of sacrifice, selfless service, and love as essential values that create military heroes.  While people will point to battlefields, war zones, and far off foreign campaigns as the epitome of valor, these values have a greater beginning.

We understand sacrifice, selfless service, and love because of God.

John 3:16 shares, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  God gave His Son as a sacrifice for the sins and wrongs of humanity.  This sacrificial gift shows the value and love that God has for us, His children.  Jesus Christ demonstrates this perfect and holy love by freely laying down His life for us.  He acts as a substitute, bleeds and dies on our behalf, so that we can benefit in life with the Lord.

It is a familiar story that we will hear about heroic Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.  It is the same reason that we hand out medals for bravery and valor.  But do not forget the one who died for you.  Many died for our freedom, but one died for our salvation.

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Memorial Day allows us to remember the meaning of sacrifice.  Veterans, soldiers, and veteran groups frequently celebrate Audie Murphy and his sacrificial efforts during World War II.

As a soldier, Murphy was credited with destroying six tanks, killing over 240 German soldiers, and capturing many others.  He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the battle of Holtzwihr, France.  In this campaign, Murphy’s unit was reduced to 19 out of 128.  As they continued to take losses, Murphy ordered his men to fall back while he provided rifle fire to protect their escape.  When he ran out of ammunition, he climbed on top of a burning M10 tank destroyer and used its .50 caliber machine gun to fight the enemy.  He also called in artillery fire to slow the German advance.  Murphy continued to shoot and call in artillery for an hour until he was wounded in the leg.

When asked after the war why he had seized the machine gun and taken on an entire company of German infantry, he replied simply, “They were killing my friends.”  His selfless service and sacrifice is celebrated every year.

Each Memorial Day we celebrate the suffering and sacrifice of veterans.  But to understand sacrifice we must  look past the holiday weekend.  To understand sacrifice we must look to God.

John 3:16 shares that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  A sacrifice was made for us.  Christ was wounded for our wrongs.  Isaiah 53 is titled the Suffering Servant.  This chapter in the Old Testament shares how the Son of God would be “pierced for our transgressions” and suffer on our behalf.  His actions would bear our iniquities and justify us before a Holy God.

As Christians, we understand that Jesus went to the cross for our sins.  His substitution on the cross ultimately atoned for the sins of the world.  He interceded to save us.

While stories of sacrifice, war wounds, medals, and heroism will take center stage this holiday weekend, remember that we understand sacrifice through the love and devotion of Jesus Christ.  He is truly our Savior.

 

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May is National Military Appreciation Month.  This important month honors, remembers, and recognizes all military personnel and their families.  The month includes VE Day (8th), Military Spouse Appreciation Day (11th), Armed Forces Day (19th), and Memorial Day (30th).

This month we all have an opportunity to stop and reflect on those who have served throughout our history, those who currently serve, and their families.  There are several ways to help celebrate the month.  Take time to thank a veteran for his or her service.  Send a care package to someone who is currently deployed.  Donate money or time to a veteran organization.  Pray for a military family.

During the course of our nation’s history, over 90 million Americans have answered the call to serve in the armed forces.  Let us celebrate their devotion and the many sacrifices that they have made on our behalf.

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