Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day: a day set aside for the remembrance of those who have died in the service of the United States of America.

This country has its flaws, and they are many and great. It is far from without blemish, including in the way it has conducted itself in foreign affairs. We have at times been very right; but we have at times been very wrong.

Yet none of that diminishes the nobility of those who fought and died to give succor this nation: from the Seven Years' War of the 1760's, before we were even a nation, through those who have died in the sands of Afghanistan and Iraq, noble patriots have given all that they had to give to protect and guarantee the safety of their families and progeny - us and our forebears.

I look to God with gratitude for the establishment of this nation: a land of freedom where I am not persecuted by the government for my pursuit of Him, even as I recall those of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are oppressed for their pursuit. I rejoice that all of us are nonetheless free in Christ. (As the psalmist wrote, we shall trust in the Lord and fear not: what can man do to us?)

I am grateful as well to those that God has used in the preservation of this country for His purposes. Though this land is far from perfect - though we are a land of great idolatry and horrible sins - I stand humbled by their example of sacrifice and bravery. Most of them died not seeking to be heroes but simply to do their duty.

I salute them; I honor their memory; I thank God for them. For those whose families are living, I pray that the peace of God be with them, that His joy be spoken into their lives and His salvation come upon them. I know that I would not even be here but for their sacrifice, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Pray for those who serve. And pray for those who send them: not to send them needlessly into battle, nor ever to waste their lives. And understand that thought as exhortation without political commentary.

Grace and peace be with you this Memorial Day. Let their sacrifice be not in vain. Honor the freedoms they purchased with blood by cherishing those freedoms, and thanking God daily for the blessing they are.

- Chris

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