Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day: Kevin DeYoung's thoughts, plus one

Kevin DeYoung posts on Why Memorial Day is Worth Remembering (h-t-Justin). DeYoung gives five good reasons, and it's worth a read.

I'd just add a sixth reason: as Christians, we must never forget that our freedom in Christ is not free. It costs us nothing; it cost Jesus everything He had to give. Jesus "loosed us from our sins by His blood" (Revelation 1:5). He gave His soul, His life, His shed blood, to pay the price to set us free (Matthew 20:28).

The freedom purchased for us Americans by our soldiers is of infinitely less value, that is true. They were not spotless and pure as Jesus was, also true. Not all died completely voluntarily as Jesus did, also true.

However, that I can homeschool my kids and worship publicly where I choose; that I still have some degree of freedom to criticize the current administration;that my native language is American English instead of German or Japanese or King Georgian English or Arabic — this freedom is not mine for free. Other men died that my family and I might be assured this freedom.

It's worth a day to recognize that fact, and pray for our living troops that more of them not be honored by it next year.


Rebekah said...

Thank you for this. And thank you for the link, too. It was worth reading.

I've been in 'patriotic' church services where I'm uncomfortable with how it seemed to go too far toward worshiping America, but I do believe it is good for Christians to remember the sacrifices made so that we are free in this country - but keeping it in perspective. So thank you for what you shared here.

DJP said...

Some of the photos and stories in this thread serve, I think, to bring it home in a personal way.

Carol Jean said...

Thanks for the link Dan. We're heading over to the National cemetery in our area later.

I'm re-reading Duty: A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War by Bob Green. It's the story of Paul Tibbits, the man who piloted the Enola Gay. It's a good reminder that there are so many heroes that live and walk among us in relative anonymity.

I'm grateful for our church and wise pastor who struck a good balance yesterday. He had all the veterans stand and say when and where they had served - it wove an amazing tapestry from WWII through Afghanistan. Then he preached on Rev. 3 about the church in Philadelphia and then threw in some zingers about our culture needing the pure, unadulterated gospel and the Word as the cure for the ills of society.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Kerry (my husband) took our boys to a big Father/Son event earlier this spring where they had a chance to hear a WW2 Veteran speak. We're reading his recently published book together, called "A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald". (No, that's not a mistake. There were POW's in Buchenwald.)

Obviously, he's a survivor (so I'm a little off-topic for Memorial Day...), but I'm thinking the boys and I need to make him a Thank-you card when we finish the book.


Carol Jean said...

I apologize if I'm being a blog hog. I just wanted to share a couple things about our visit to our Nat. cemetery today (Ohio).

One grave of a 23-year-old Iraq war casualty had a note in a child's scrawl that said, "We miss you, Love Katie and Family."

Another one of a 20-year-old man had a Pez dispenser and three pennies. I can just picture a toddler leaving gifts for daddy.

Another had a plate of cookies with a note that said, "Your Favorite"

At another grave, in the new section, a family was hunkered down. There was a young woman on a blanket, lying nearly in the fetal position next to the grave. There was a man (a father?) in a lawn chair sitting next to the head stone adorned with flags and flowers and an older woman sitting nearby. The scene was incredibly personal and as raw as an open wound.

A man in his 50's and a bugle tucked under his arm ambled down the path with the war memorials. Suddenly, in the middle of the day, the sound of Taps rang out, randomly, across the cemetery. I looked around and everyone had stopped what they were doing, some removing their caps. I saw the man (we were a distance away) remove his cap after he played and bow his head for a few seconds before heading back to his car.

I'm glad I wasn't near the family hunkered down up the hill. It would have been too painful to watch their reaction to hearing Taps.

These aren't just faceless numbers we hear about on the news. These are mommies and daddies and sons and daughters. Pray for the family spending Memorial Day at the cemetery and for our troops in harm's way.

DJP said...

Very touching reading, Carol Jean. Thank you so much for sharing it.

sethpotter said...

King Georgian English eh? Is that what we have been forced to speak in Canada?

DJP said...

Nobody knows what the heck you speak in Canada!

sethpotter said...

Is King Georgian English eh? Is that what we speak here in Canada? If only I too had the freedom to spell honour without a "u"...

DJP said...

You do, Seth, you do. You have nothing to lose but your pretensions!

sethpotter said...

Hey I didn't even realize it told me it didn't. Oh well, now you have two comments from me. And the second one is what I meant to write. Anyway, thanks for the post!

sethpotter said...

You mean, I don't even have to spell colour like that if I don't want to??