Annually we have ten U.S. federal holidays, 80 special awareness days, 64 annual special days recognized by presidential proclamation. 20 annual special weeks, and somehow we’ve managed to stretch 12 months into 55 special month observances. The list of ‘celebrations’ is overwhelming and I’m sad to say at times deeply embarrassing. Shameless celebrations wound us deeply nationally on the razor’s edge of Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.”
So I am thankful for Memorial Day and its noble focus. It really is true that “Every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17), and while America is far from being a perfect country it is an outstanding gift from God. It is a gift delivered through the sacrifice of those in uniform who have given their lives in service to this nation. It is also the height of ingratitude not to recognize and honor their sacrifice. Shakespeare wrote, “How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child.”
I urge you to offer God songs, prayers, and a heart of gratitude for the freedoms you enjoy. They are not freedoms purchased by the bulls of Wall Street, developed by the scientists of Silicon Valley, or created by the rhetoric of politicians in Washington, D.C. They are the freedoms purchased by the blood, sweat and agony of those who died that we might live; those who personified the truth of John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Attending to their courage, chronicling their hard work, preserving their faith was the God who calls you and me to be faithful this holiday: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8). Remembering? Will lead us to God's truth that sets us free.