I am grateful for the many reminders and pictures posted over the past weekend that zeroed in on the importance of Americans who have served and sacrificed for their country. At the same time, I was taken aback by the many self-serving, self-promoting statuses that screamed, “Look at me!” or “Look at my family!” or “Look at the ways I am enjoying my freedom!”
Many visit military cemeteries on Memorial Day – and only on Memorial Day – to make a show of placing flags at graves. Why not do that quietly, without fanfare or pictures? And, as many do, why not visit on days other than Memorial Day?
Last weekend was the unofficial beginning of summer. Pictures that show empty liquor bottles and hard-partying aftermaths certainly embrace the freedom won by those who’ve served and are still serving, but why not post thanks/pictures to those who’ve secured our freedom instead.
I know, this is just one person’s view, but those who’ve spilled blood in battle have given me the right to express it. They fill me with gratitude for what they’ve accomplished.
Inscribed near the entrance of a cemetery in Okinawa, where many American military personnel are buried, are these words: “We gave our todays in order that you might have your tomorrows.” Memorial Day is a time to remember that the life we are able to enjoy in our country is due to the service and sacrifice of others.
Beneath it all, the ultimate sacrifice of Christ resounds to the glory of God: Blood shed for my sins and others, a life given that I might live a life of love in response. This life expresses itself in public (in person and in social media) and in private (where only God sees).
I can hear it now: “What are you, the Facebook/Instragram/TikTok police?” (By the way, I don’t have a TikTok) No, just someone who is grateful for service and sacrifice. I am one of many humbly grateful for freedom and life now and forever.
“No one has greater love than this: that someone lays down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 EHV)
Free in Jesus,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand