Memorial Day is when we remember and mourn the loss of all those who died while serving in the U.S. Military. These are men and women who gave their lives for ours’. Most who have served over our country’s history, have gone into the military voluntarily. That means that they made the conscious decision to willingly sacrifice their lives for ours’. Wow!!!
As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Memorial Day seems to be even more of a reminder of sacrifice. I recall hearing stories of people whose lives so changed when those planes hit the twin towers, that they signed up to go fight overseas. We had hundreds of first responders run towards danger, not away from it on September 11th, 2001, many of whom lost their lives.
We see the same thing in our police officers, who have been under attack lately. Yet every morning, they get up, put on the uniform, and leave their homes for what could be the last time. When others are in danger, they run towards it, never knowing the eventual outcome…running towards the danger nonetheless.
We’re further reminded of the sacrifice by all the veterans who come home significantly wounded. They’ve lost limbs, in addition to friends in battle. Although scarred more than just physically, they’ve not lost their spirit. All of them, every single one, says they’d do it again.
So how does all of this relate to Jesus. When beginning to write this blog, my mind immediately went to John 15:13, where Jesus says, “no one has a greater love than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”. In verse 14, Jesus states that we are His friends, followed in verse 16 where He says, “you have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you…I have appointed you so that you may go bear fruit”.
In the Great Commandments (Matthew 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-34) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), which I love siting, Jesus “commands” us to love God, love our neighbors, and share our faith. Not mere suggestions from our Lord, they’re our greatest call. Jesus is our greatest example of sacrifice, with His torturous death on the Cross. He’s also our best example of the Great Commandments and Great Commission…love God, love others, and share our faith.
Our veterans and first responders are also great examples of the Great Commandments. You can’t run towards danger without a love of God. And they certainly love their neighbors. Our veterans, including those who lost their lives, are true heroes. So are our first responders.
That doesn’t mean that the rest of us don’t have the same opportunities to serve. There are numerous heroes in our society, many who aren’t veterans or first responders. The question is, are you among them? Am I among them? Are we willing to lay down our lives, to bear fruit? We do so by loving God, loving our neighbors, and sharing our faith. And in doing so, not only are you a hero, often unspoken of course, but you’ll be living a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment!!!
As always, please contact me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!
Remember…God Made You for Greatness!!!
P.S. If you’d like to support our veterans and first responders, my wife and I love the Tunnels to Tower Foundation (https://t2t.org).