Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Ultimate Sacrifice....Remembering

I am so thankful for my memories….the happy ones along with the painful ones.  Memory serves a purpose and when some sort of brain disease erases memories, it would seem life could be pretty one dimensional, full of gaps.  As I age, some of my memories from long ago have grown rather dim but, thankfully, there are others that can be retrieved with reminders and triggers.

Memorial Day, soon upon us, is a day set aside each year designed to prompt us to remember.  It’s a time to remember those men and women, throughout our country’s history, who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in our armed forces.   Some communities may have parades; others have war memorials where special ceremonies are held.  For others, it means hanging flags and/or visiting cemeteries to display flags at our veterans’ burial sites.

As I researched this holiday, I learned about another long standing tradition….the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. 

Of course, for those of us living in a more northern climate, Memorial Day is a signal that our long winter is over.  We have possibly enjoyed some spring weather
(a transitional time and not necessarily one of our best seasons here in the Upper Peninsula!) and now we can truly gear up for our beautiful summer.  Here in the U.P., Memorial “weekend” is a time to visit our local nurseries; love getting my flowers in!

Memorial Day also means I can officially start wearing summer white again!  HA!  As a child I was always taught to never wear white before Memorial Day!  I doubt many people find that instruction relevant in this day and age and, honestly, I don’t know where that “rule” originated.  I doubt the fashion police will knock on my door if I break out in my white shoes before Monday!

As important as it is for us to remember our men and women in the armed forces (and it IS important); as important as it is to remember why we have such freedoms (never do we want to take them for granted)….there is One Who paid the ultimate price for us. 
Jesus gave His life and died a torturous horrible death so we might have, not only the most satisfying life during our brief time on earth, but eternal life with Him.  As I reflect on the many ways we celebrate and remember those who fought for our freedom, I ask myself the question:  how do I remember and honor the incredible sacrifice Jesus made on my behalf?  His sacrifice was also a fight for freedom; He freed me from the bondage of sin.

Scripture reminds us that there actually was a parade (Palm Sunday) where Jesus was hailed as hero and king.  About a week later there was another “parade”; this time a physically broken and bruised Jesus was dragged through the streets on His way to the cross.

What sort of flag might I display for Jesus?  Could it be that every time I “love my enemy” or extend grace to another sinner, or make church attendance and
Bible study a priority, I am waving the flag of Jesus in my own life?

It is unlikely that I will ever visit the tomb Jesus’ body occupied for a few days. (fore runner to the cemeteries of today?) But maybe, just maybe, bringing the good news of the gospel to the ill or dying (physically and/or spiritually) is akin to running to the tomb, finding it empty and declaring “He is alive!”

I have in my possession a wonderful new book of prayers for military families; it’s called While My Soldier Serves, by Edie Melson.  Check her out at  I want to plug this book on this special weekend, especially since I know the author and her heart for God’s people who serve our country in the military.

I also have in my possession another wonderful book and it’s called The Bible. This book calls us to learn and remember God’s story all through history; it gives us a beautiful picture of those amazing warriors who went before us, suffered, proclaimed Truth, many of them dying a martyr’s death.  It’s a story about God’s love for us and His provision for our sin through His Son.

In Genesis 9:16 God tells us to remember His promise through the beauty of a rainbow.   In 2 Timothy 2:8 Paul tells young Timothy to remember Jesus Christ.  Hebrews 13:3 says to remember those who are in prison.  In the upper room, Jesus tells His disciples to take the bread and wine “in remembrance of me”.

This weekend, as we remember and honor our men and women in uniform (past and present), let us also turn our hearts to the One Who created all life and forever stands as our Redeemer and Conqueror.


  1. Beautiful reminder of what our soldiers and our Savior did for us. Thank you, Judy!

  2. Vonda, thank you for your comment. It is lovely to see it up here on this site!