Friday, May 27, 2011
Thank you just doesn't seem to be enough...
From the very mouth of Jesus, we are told that:
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (NIV)
There have been many sacrifices on my behalf. While none are greater than the one made by my Savior, many have still been great...the ultimate...sacrifices. Each year, I approach Memorial Day with a heavy heart for the few that I've known personally, and the many I will never know, who gave their life to defend a freedom I enjoy today. That freedom allows me to gather my family together several times a week in our chosen house of worship. There's no fear of persecution. No anxiety. Just free, unencumbered worship.
I sometimes wonder how diligent we would be as Christians in our worship if the environment where we dwelled was far less open. Churches so easily available. That's a different post, however, and thankfully I've never lived in such a place. Neither has my father, nor even his father. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to a number of unselfish men and women for that fact. Let us never forget.
While I often catch flak for publicly admitting my fondness for the PBS NewsHour, the show is unique to other news sources in one certain aspect that I greatly admire. As names and photos become available, the NewHour will run a silent Honor Roll at the end of a broadcast to acknowledge the most recent service men and women to answer the ultimate call of duty. Without fail, the noise from just another daily routine stops in our house as all eyes fall on the television, and we watch as a family at the names and pictures flashing by on the screen...usually in complete silence...sometimes with a faint gasp at how young life can be snatched away or thoughts of the families left behind. Even our pre-schooler has come to recognize a reverence about the 'people who have died in war.' It breaks my heart to think she is exposed to such a heinous concept at such a young age. We tell her they have 'gone to live with Jesus' even though there's no way of knowing their particular spiritual state at the moment the ability to freely choose our Savior was longer an option.
It's hard to swallow that such a tremendous sacrifice wouldn't be enough for eternal life in Heaven... but that's just not how it works. In fact, the path to salvation is so much easier.
Below is a clip from a recent NewsHour Honor Roll. Less than a dozen souls from a list of thousands, no hundreds of thousands, that we all should take a moment to reflect upon before eating our hamburgers, hot dogs or steaks this coming Monday at family cookouts nationwide.
Memorial Day marks so very much more than just the start of another summer...