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.
They gave up their hopes and dreams, families and friends. They submitted themselves to rigorous discipline and placed their lives in great peril. Their sacrifice should inspire in us a profound sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy, bought with a price. And that gratitude should compel us to lives of service as well: Serving Christ, our neighbor, and yes, our nation.
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 in Normandy. 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."
Private Ryan, out of gratitude for Captain Miller's sacrifice, did all in his power for the rest of his days to live a good life to earn the sacrifice others had made for him.
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?
Are we, out of gratitude, living for Christ, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, ministering to those in prison, in whatever harvest field to which the Lord has called us?
Examine your life today on this holiday as we celebrate the freedom we have been given through Christ’s death on a cross. It is a sacrifice that we DO NOT HAVE TO EARN. Our freedom as citizens have been protected by our Constitution and paid for by the sacrifices of those who served and died in service of our country.
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Tomorrow May 31st 2016 will be the last day I will be writing this daily blog for the duration of the summer as I go on vacation and study leave. My plan is that in the fall, PK’s Blog will come out on a weekly instead of daily basis. C3’s e-news weekly will continue to be e-mailed to those who subscribe to it on Tuesdays, updating you on what’s happening at C3. It will also become available on our C3 Hays app beginning this week. If you are not yet using our app on your smart phone or tablet I encourage you to do so.