Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church.
I’m recording this in a cemetery, because today, in the United States, it’s Memorial Day. It is the day that we celebrate those who have given their lives for the service of others.
In a very profound sense, the reason why we are able to celebrate with family and friends today is because others have paid the ultimate price to protect our lives and secure our freedom. That should make us deeply grateful.
For those of us who are Christians such self-sacrifice points us to the gospel. At the heart of the gospel is a person dying for others, self sacrificially—dying, so others might enjoy the freedom of forgiveness.
It was Jesus on the night before he was crucified who uttered the immortal words, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NIV)
You should take some time today to think about that and to thank God for those who even now are putting their lives in harm’s way for your freedom and security.
Likewise, I would encourage you to take a moment and think about Jesus. You see, Jesus is a God unlike any other god. He doesn’t just demand your life (every god does that—whether money, success, fame, etc.), but Jesus gives His life…completely…for you.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
~1 John 4:7 (NIV)