Monday, May 30, 2022

            Memorial Day is often regarded as the unofficial beginning of summer.  Though the calendar says that summer begins on June 21, the Memorial Day weekend has often been the start signal.  But we know this day is much more meaningful than just the start of trips, vacations, camps, time away and some new rhythms to the days of many.  We take time today to recognize the many, many Americans who have given their lives for this country and the freedoms we enjoy every day.  Many of these freedoms we often overlook—the freedom to speak, to worship, to assemble, to engage in business and to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Perhaps your family has lost a loved one in one of our nation’s wars or conflicts.  The chances are good that your family does have individuals who have served in our nation’s armed forces.  We are blessed by the presence, service and lives of many veterans. 
            Remember the sacred and solemn nature of this day as we remember and give thanks for the service of so many brave and faithful Americans who loved country more than self and gave the ultimate sacrifice.  When our freedoms were threatened, ordinary Americans answered the call to defend and protect those freedoms.  And we are thankful for those who have gone before us and given their all to make this nation safe, secure and free.
            On a day where sacrifice is remembered and honored, we think also about the price that Jesus Christ paid for our salvation long, long ago on a lonely Friday on a cross on a hill called Calvary.  He willingly gave His life that we might know the freedom of forgiveness, freedom from sin and freedom from slavery to Satan.  Jesus was without sin but willingly bore the sins of the world to bring us peace with God.  He willingly paid a debt that He did not know owe because we owed a debt that we could never pay.  Profound love often requires profound sacrifice.  The Father gave His only begotten Son.  The Son gave His innocent life.  And on Memorial Day, we remember that many men and women have offered themselves in defense of ideas, values and freedom itself. 
            Take time today to pray for our nation, our leaders, those who serve and for the families who have lost loved ones in our nation’s defense.  One of the greatest ways we can bless and serve our nation is by praying for those in positions of leadership and decision-making authority.  Paul wrote, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).  Jeremiah wrote in the Old Testament, “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7). 
            So, on this Memorial Day, pray for our nation, remember those who gave their lives for America and give thanks for the greatest sacrifice of all when Jesus went to the cross out of love for us.  Humbly remember the many ways you have been blessed by the service and sacrifice of others.  Remember you can always share our worship at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.  Have a wonderful Memorial Day!  

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