Memorial Day is a time for us to remember and honor all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in the fight for our freedom.
In a country where freedom reigns, we can all probably identify someone that we know has served in the United States Military. It takes a special kind of individual to join the armed forces; we associate attributes such as bravery and strength to those who have served.
My grandfather was a marine for several years, and he wears the title of military veteran very well. He is so tough, so courageous--yet so humble, and so gentle. Even in his old age, I consider him my greatest protector. My papa does not like to talk about his time in the service. He carries many wounds--internal wounds, emotional wounds--that were inflicted to win freedom. Freedom for me, freedom for you, and freedom for our beautiful country.
Freedom is bought at a price. The bible tells us that Jesus has bought our freedom through his undeserving death on a cross. Romans 8:1-2 says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you FREE from the law of sin and death." This is something to rejoice over! Jesus, the perfect and spotless savior of the world, came to save us and serve us freedom. He willingly fought and conquered death for those he loved. He paid the price once and for all. As my grandfather and many other veterans have sacrificed so much to bring us freedom, so has our heavenly savior, Jesus.
So what does it mean to sacrifice? Dictionary.com defines sacrifice as "the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim". What a beautiful way to show love and compassion. We have been designed in the image of a creator that has sacrificed his most valuable possession--his only, spotless, and blameless son--to give us eternal life.
This makes me think about how God can use my sacrifices to bring others freedom. John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." God gives us the tools we need to sacrifice for others. He has called us to display that bravery and strength we see in our veterans. Jesus has a heart for the poor and oppressed--and we are designed in his image. We are called to fight and sacrifice for our sisters and brothers in Christ.
Thank you, veterans, for your service and sacrifice for our country. Memorial day is as much a day of contemplation as it is a day of celebration. As you take time to reflect today, do not forget the one who served as the ultimate sacrifice for our eternal freedom--Jesus.
— Ashley Martinez (c) May 2018