- - Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Culture challenge of the week: Don’t take liberty for granted

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Even though these truths are self-evident, it’s important that we never forget that they are not self-actualizing. Man was made for freedom, but the vast majority are not born into it.

As Ronald Reagan said on Memorial Day 1983: “I don’t have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world.”

We are blessed beyond belief to be Americans. Many of our children and grandchildren are dispatched around the world fighting to preserve freedom. But the vast majority are not serving in the military, either by personal choice or because they are too young, and they need to understand the significance of the sacrifices made on their behalf.

As Reagan said in 1961: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We did not pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

If we ever take our freedom for granted, we may lose it.

How to save your family: Give honor where it’s due on Memorial Day

May 26 is Memorial Day. We often think of it in terms of a three-day weekend more than anything else. I want to challenge you to truly celebrate Memorial Day with your family this year.

As we consider how to honor our lost servicemen and women, it is appropriate to look to the story of the greatest sacrifice of all time.

The most decisive victory of all mankind was earned by the sacrifice of one man. Jesus Christ purchased the fullest freedom we can experience this side of heaven. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just before He was crucified, Jesus prayed: “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39).

No soldier, Marine, airman or sailor desires death. But all of them have made the ultimate sacrifice: They have laid down their will for a higher one. For many, that sacrifice meant laying down their lives as well.

Christians gather to take Communion to remember Jesus‘ body broken and blood poured out, His life offered up on our behalf. Taking Communion is a powerful act that serves more than remembrance alone. In the same way, Memorial Day holds deeper significance than merely remembering.

Before Communion, we are supposed to search our hearts. What sins have I not brought to the light? Whom do I need to forgive? Whom do I need to seek forgiveness from? Communion is an invitation to survey the conditions of our souls and initiate reconciliation and healing within the church.

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