“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
John 15:13 NKJV
Looking back through the years, I am continually amazed at the impact that the cross of Christ has had on my life. I was in a hole that I dug with no way out. When I think of the sinless Son of God paying my debt for me, I am overwhelmed with humility. I could have never been able to save myself. I could have never dealt with my sin. Jesus laid His life down for me. I am in awe that the God of the Universe would ever call me friend.
As I reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus, I can’t help but consider other sacrifices that have been done on my behalf. I think of my father and mother. They laid down their lives, their desires and their futures to give me a life and a hope. I remember the many sacrifices that they made as they raised me and my siblings. I have fond memories of them. In a very real sense they were my initial connection to God. What I now see in the Him, I saw in them.
On this Memorial Day, we remember be great sacrifices of Americans in the wars. These were and are people who forsake the safety of hearth and home for discomfort, to ensure the lives of those left behind. Who knows what this world would be like if the Nazis had won. Because of those who were victorious in WW2, Tom Brokaw referred to them as the Greatest Generation.
We are in a time when we are witnessing the same kind of commitment: a willingness to lay down life for others. If you asked them, they would tell you that they are simply doing their jobs. But we all know what life would be like if they didn’t. Like the heroes of old, these are regular people, doing extraordinary things.
They are the doctors, nurses, first responders, police officers and fire fighters, and a host of other medical personnel working with COVID-19 patients day in and day out. Of these regular heroes, some of them are not going home for fear of exposing their families. Others are the people in the stores where we get our food. They work long hours for low pay, and face exposure. They are the people working in the packing plants exposed to harsh conditions so we can have our bacon and other products. They are the myriad of essential workers, going out every day to work and risking all. They are the people who day by day are used by the Lord to reach into the lives of others, to help those in need and the homeless. In every case they go about what they do at great risk of illness.
On the spiritual level, I think of all the people who have humbled themselves, to advance the Gospel. The pastors who must decide to have church or not. They are accountable to God for the welfare of the sheep. They endure the hardship, the rejection, the second guessing, and the fiery darts of the evil one. Yet they endure. There are missionaries working the field of souls, trying to lead people to Jesus. For them, this is also their Memorial Day.
Believers, on this holiday, like no other any of us can remember, let’s remember those that have come before us, those that paved the way. Let’s reflect on the people who laid down their lives, who made and make the sacrifices that have allowed us all to go on.
Let us also remember the One who went to the cross, died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. For such a great Salvation, we can celebrate Memorial Day everyday.
Let us all lay down our lives for each other. I am not saying we should die for each other, but that we should die to self for each other. We are in a time when it is the only way we can survive. If ever their was a time to seek peace it is now. The virus cares little for your politics, your denominations, your social justice or anything else. It is not a respecter of persons.
When I enter the prayer chair, I am laying down my life, I am laying aside self to intercede for others. I hope many of you are doing the same.
Happy Memorial Day.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!