I imagine you are reading this article after having already celebrated Memorial Day weekendole. As the unofficial start of the summer season, you may have held a barbecue or outdoor party with the people near and dear to you. What a blessing it is every time we can be in the wonderful outdoors of the beautiful Northwest!
I know for some folks, this special holiday is not called Memorial Day, but rather Remembrance Day — for remembering all our friends and family who have died. But for all of us, Memorial Day is set aside for us to remember all those in our armed forces who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms and have gone before us. Once again, what a blessing it is that we know and experience what it is to live as free people because some gave all.
I am very thankful for this special day of remembrance, but I am also challenged to remember the sacrifices made on my behalf all throughout the year. So, whether you remembered friends and family or the valiant service of our armed forces, I hope you experienced a great sense of love over this past weekend.
In the Bible, we read that Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This statement of Jesus takes on even stronger meaning when we remember that he himself died for us. Jesus held nothing back in his love for each one of us, willingly suffering and dying a brutal death for you and for me. And that this was done purely out of love for each one of us causes us to pause and wonder.
Like all gifts of true and real love, there is nothing for us to do to receive it. We simply accept the gift. Jesus did all the work necessary, all we do is gratefully accept the grace-filled gift of love through faith.
I hope that as you reflect on this past Memorial Day, you will take the thoughts of sacrifice and service given for you one step further: that you would realize God’s great love for you in Jesus Christ. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted. That is the great news of the gospel.