John 15:13 – Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.(KJV)
Philippians 2:8 – And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (KJV)
I was blessed to have been born after World War Two, but as children, we were taught about the war and to remember and respect those who fought for our freedom. Remembrance Day services were a part of our lives, either as observers or participants as Brownies/Cubs, Guides/Scouts and Army Cadets in high school.
Most veterans I know, don't talk about the horrors of the war; their stories are of the comradeship they shared, the planes they flew, and other things, carefully skirting the deep, painful parts. Even those I know who served in Vietnam, only allude to what they really experienced.
Recently, we attended the film "Saving Private Ryan". It has been said that even veterans are brought to tears by the closeness to reality of this film. My head and stomach ached after just three hours of the constant thunderous noise, the senseless death and destruction, the erosion of emotion and acceptance of aiming at the enemy. I thought of the many I know who have served, and not always having gone willingly. I wondered how it was that after living through that day after day, and losing a piece of their body and/or soul, they were still able to keep their focus and faith. I know that there are those who didn't.
We remember the women who served abroad and on the homefront; the women whose husbands didn't come home; and the families who lost their loved ones, that we may live in freedom.
The sacrifice of their lives reminds us, too, of the sacrifice of another life, of how Jesus died for us, that we may have everlasting life.
Perhaps we could make a "Remembrance Day Resolution", that as we remember and give thanks each day for the life Jesus gave for us, so too, will we remember all those, from various walks of life and beliefs who courageously fought and gave their lives that we may live in freedom: freedom to live, to love, to speak; freedom to worship openly, in a place of our choice.
Prayer: As we attend to our everyday lives, may we remember those who gave their lives for our freedoms, remembering always that one of the freedoms we have, is the freedom to believe that through the birth, death and resurrection of Your Son, we will not perish, but have everlasting life. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.