From the time I was a young child, I’ve always loved Memorial Day. My family is incredibly patriotic, and we’ve always loved celebrating holidays like this one together. Sporting my red, white, and blue and proudly waving my little flag in the air, I learned from a very young age to honor and respect those who have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms that I enjoy today. Even as an adult, I can hardly hold in my gratitude whenever I see a man or a woman in military uniform. I would never want to stand in their shoes, but I am so grateful that they have chosen to do so. The freedoms we enjoy, and perhaps even take for granted, didn’t come cheap. Men and women have fought, sacrificed time away from their families, and given their lives so that we can enjoy ours to the fullest.
To them, I am grateful. To every member of the armed forces, to every veteran, to every person who gave their life so that I could live mine, I honor you today. I am so grateful.
Freedom comes at a high cost. It always has. It always will. Today, as I ponder the sacrifices made for my own personal freedoms, I cannot help but think of another freedom that was afforded me, one that I could never purchase nor earn.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,” Isaiah 61:1
There is no greater freedom than the freedom Jesus Christ affords to those who call on His name. None. This is the good news for the poor. This is the healing for the brokenhearted. This is freedom. And it came at a cost.
Freedom is never free. But in God’s economy, it is freely given. This is the beauty of the Gospel. Jesus in my place. The punishment I earned and deserved, He took instead. The death I should have died, He died instead, and His death brought me life. His sacrifice made me free.
The cost of freedom is blood. One life given for another. Today, as we pause, as we feast, as we celebrate, as we spend time with family and friends, let us not forget the reason we have this day off of work. It’s far more than another three-day weekend. It’s bigger than a party out at the lake. Today, we count the cost of freedom, and as we do, let’s remember the ultimate sacrifice that was made for you and for me so we could be free.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1