Freedom is a word sometimes loosely used, but closely held onto by those who know it’s worth. Many people are beginning to feel their freedoms are being compromised by some of the regulations our government has laid out in our fight against Covid-19. Church leaders are fighting for the freedom to congregate and feed their flocks while business owners are fighting to reopen their stores and shops in order to feed their families. Protesting goes on while some express anger because everyone’s not following the rules. So much division and conflicting information from so many sources makes us unsure what to do.
The coronavirus has changed the ways we celebrate. Many important events have been cancelled or put on hold since March. My family alone has had four birthdays (my husband, two granddaughters and a daughter-in-law) that we couldn’t celebrate as a family like we usually do. Mother’s Day was different for many of us from other years. Graduations…always a time for parties…have become virtual or long delayed. This Monday is Memorial Day…a most important holiday, but a party is maybe not the best way to celebrate it.
To lots of us, Memorial Day has become a time for picnics at the park, family gatherings and it also marks the beginning of summer. Policemen put up their check points and are on the look-out for impaired drivers. How should we really celebrate this day that has been set aside to honor those who lost their lives in military service to our country? Maybe this year, we can find the proper way to show respect for the fallen by taking time to consider why they were willing to sacrifice their lives in order to secure the freedoms we too often take for granted.
Nobody goes around being thankful every day, that’s why we set aside one whole day for it…But how many of us spend the day that way? Many visit cemeteries and put fresh flowers on the graves of loved ones, but do we visit the graves of our fallen soldiers whom we don’t know, or bring extra flowers for them? I’m sure many do remember them with special services, etc., but we all need to honor them in some way if only by prayer and meditation.
Many of the military members who fought and died did not serve by choice. For many years, the draft board determined which of our young men were fit to serve. They were pulled away from family, dreams of jobs, marriage, college and were plunged into a whole new world full of orders, discipline and deadly dangers. Today those who join do so willingly…though many are lured in by recruiters who visit the high schools and promise an easy route to further education, a life of service with benefits following discharge, such as the G.I. Bill.
No matter if these people served willingly or through being drafted, their sacrifice was the same…they gave their lives that we might live and be free. Who else, besides them, would ever do that? There is only one…and His name is Jesus Christ! For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3: 16
Even Jesus, who was drafted by the Father, as His time of death drew near, prayed that God would spare Him…but He knew it had to happen in order for the Truth to be revealed and for the world to be saved. We can simply ignore this day called ‘Memorial Day’ and just not think about it…as many choose to ignore Jesus and His sacrifice…or we can honor them by remembering and being thankful. Many of our freedoms are only a few bad choices away from being lost…and many are still fighting to protect them, and us. Pray God would lead us through this pandemic with all our freedoms intact… and fully trusting in Him. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15: 13