Hebrews 10:14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (NIV)

I never served in the Armed Forces, so I don’t know what it is like to be in the military, but I am appreciative of the sacrifices that have been made by those in uniform. When Memorial Day comes around each year, I feel both sad and grateful at the same time. I’m sad because of the young lives that were lost either in battle, on a mission, or even by accident; I’m grateful because my whole life has been given a freedom that someone else earned for me.

At this time of year, I think about those who had no choice but to take up arms, who were conscripted to go to war instead of following their dreams of college, a career, or whatever else they wanted to do with their lives. I think especially of those who served in Vietnam, who lost their lives in an unpopular war, and whose surviving buddies faced humiliation and hostility when they returned. I think about the resentment some of those survivors may still feel and yet who, year after year, honorably remember and proudly commemorate brothers and sisters in arms who lost their lives in defense of freedom and for our country.

This also makes me ponder on the Supreme Sacrifice that Jesus gave for a world which did not deserve, receive, or accept Him. He was conscripted by God to fulfill a mission that was unpopular and unrecognized by most of His people. He endured shame and humiliation, even though He was doing what was right. He gave everything, so that we may be given all of God’s grace, mercy, and love.

So, this weekend, I will remember those whose lives were taken in a time of war and in service of our nation. I will be grateful for the freedom that I know, as well as for the faith that I have.

May God be with you and may you remember the sacrifices that were made on our behalf.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us never to take our freedom for granted, nor may we waste the faith that You purchased for us. In Your Holy Name, we remember and pray. Amen.