“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” John 15:13
The above scripture is one that when truly reflected upon can have the power to bring me to my knees. The God of all creation sent his only son to die for me. To this day I am left without words when I think on this. Jesus is our perfect example of sacrifice. Our perfect example of giving more than we could humanly or possibly understand. This verse also comes to mind for me when I think on those serving in our armed forces. It brings me to tears when I think of a soldier, even today as I type this, away from his or her family in triple digit heat. Serving unto his or her death, for me.
We have been blessed with a three day weekend in honor of “Memorial Day”, a day set apart just for them. Let’s not use this time off only as an excuse to bring the family together for a barbecue, or to just take a break for ourselves, but let us use it as a day to remember. The word memorial means “preservative of memory”, or “that which serves to keep in memory.” So, Memorial Day is a day that our nation should set aside some time to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who even today, are serving our country.
It is in the deepest parts of our being, the desire to be remembered. Many times in the Bible the words “remember me” are said by many of the Lords people as they cried out to the Lord; Nehemiah, Zachariah, Jeremiah, Job, David, Hannah, Samson, the thief on the cross. My prayer is that this Memorial Day we will remember to pray for these brave men and women and their families on our own, without the provocation of a sad story or a touching television commercial.
I was raised by a former U.S. Marine. My father put out his American flag every morning before he left for work. He rarely ever spoke with me about politics but always spoke of the love he had for his country. I believe my patriotism was a genetic trait passed down from father to child. My husband Paul and I have raised our children to respect and honor those serving in the United States military. We have passed on this very same flag-waving DNA to our own children. We encourage all four of our kids to thank those they see in public that are in uniform.
One of the sweetest memories we have of our youngest son Samuel was when he was about two years old. He shyly walked up to a young service man dressed in his military attire at a grocery store and told him “thank you”. This young man couldn’t understand Samuel’s two year old language so his brother and sisters interpreted to this young man, just what Samuel was trying to convey. It moved this young soldier.
It is never too early to start showing our children ways to express such gratitude. Regardless of your political beliefs these men and women have signed their lives over to the American people. Willing to go wherever and do whatever is needed to keep our freedoms secure. This lesson isn’t only for children. I double dog dare you to go up to a military person or even the mother or father of one of our enlisted people. You will know these servicemen and women by their uniforms or haircuts. You will know their parents by the bumper stickers on their car or by the huge buttons they wear with a picture of their child in military attire. You could even drop by and thank Mari at My little corner of the world, her son Andy is serving. Your words and prayers for so many of these people can make such a difference. I remember just as the war broke out, being at a grocery store and thanking a military mom who had two sons in the service. My voice started to crack and I could barely get the words out of my mouth.
Friends, as Christians we are led by our perfect example in Jesus, as parents lets lead our children by this same example. Let’s let our children see that we do remember those serving our country this Memorial Day.
The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. ~Thomas Campbell