Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Thoughts

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

I've heard this verse quoted in reference to those who have died in service to our country, and I think it contains a general truth that applies to Memorial Day. Those who have laid their lives on the line to defend homeland, home and family have demonstrated a level of sacrifice that deserves our respect.

We must never forget, though, two inescapable truths that also come out of that passage:

  1. First, Jesus was talking about Himself and His imminent death for His people when He spoke those words to His disciples. His death accomplished eternal redemption -- something all the lives of all our soldiers in all our wars could never achieve.
  2. To benefit from Christ's redemption, you must be His "friend." In other words, faith in Christ alone saves men.
A military man willing to die defending his cherished home and family deserves our respect. He certainly has mine.

But as Christians, we must never cross the line here and imply (as we often hear, even from preachers who ought to know better) that a soldier's last full measure of devotion purchases him a ticket to eternal peace. Only by full faith in Christ can anyone be assured of peace with God.

It distresses me to think that the souls some people who died for my safety may be in hell today. It distresses me more that we, as Christians, may have given some of them the impression that their sacrifice would somehow put them in right standing with God.

As we remember our honored dead, let's pray for our military folk. Let's pray not only for their safety, but that they put their trust fully in the grace of God in Christ Jesus. Let's also pray that God will preserve them morally and mentally as well as physically.

And while we're at it, let's pray that our policy-makers not put them in harm's way for profit or political gain.

1 comment:

The Warrior said...


Thank you for saying what no one else says.