Memorial Day is when we honor the men and women of our Armed Services who have made the supreme sacrifice who gave their lives for their country. These days, Memorial Day seems nothing more than a time for cookouts and swim parties. We cannot be reminded often enough about how great a debt we owe to those who died in military service.
I can't help but recall the brilliant film Saving Private Ryan. James Ryan, now in his seventies, has returned with his family to the military cemetery above the beach at Normandy France where so many men lost their lives. He visits the grave of Captain John Miller, the man who, a half a century before, led the mission to retrieve—to save—Private Ryan. At the end of the mission, Miller was fatally wounded. As he lay dying, his final words to Private Ryan were, "James. Earn this...earn it."
We then see Ryan kneeling at Captain Miller's grave, marked by a cross. Ryan, his voice trembling with emotion, says, "Every day I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. I tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that, at least in your eyes, I've earned what all of you have done for me."Red-eyed, Ryan turns to his wife and says, "Tell me I've led a good life...tell me I am a good man."With great dignity, she says, "You are."With that, James Ryan salutes the grave of Captain Miller. You see, Private Ryan, out of gratitude for Captain Miller's sacrifice, did all in his power to live a good life.
Memorial Day is a great time for each of us to look into the mirror...to examine our own lives. Are we living good lives in gratitude for all those who have sacrificed for us—including our men and women in the military, our families, our friends, and most of all Christ? Charles Colson wrote, “Are we, like Ryan, kneeling before the cross—Steven Spielberg the director of saving Private Ryan, had to realize the power of this imagery. Are we, out of gratitude, doing our duty for Christ, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, ministering to those in prison, in whatever harvest field to which the Lord has called us?”
This Memorial Day, reflect on the freedom that we have been given paid for by the lives of those who have sacrificed for you. And then go and remember the One who made the ultimate sacrifice for us upon a cross.
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Remember the 43 Encounter students and sponsors traveling to Haiti for a mission trip.
Praying for our Missionaries as C3 reaches out to Haiti, for traveling baseball teams in Denver.
Tuesday 6:30pm :
Celebrate Health: What is Hospice?
Wednesday 7pm: The End Part 2
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