Every Memorial Day, we as a nation remember those who have died in the service of their country. In the United States of America, a place where such remembrances carry an emotional and profound significance is Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, DC. This famous national cemetery is a serious place where, due to the passing of aging war veterans and the ongoing fighting around the world, there are currently about 27 to 30 military funerals every day, Monday through Friday, and 6 to 8 services on Saturday. More than 400,000 Americans are buried within the grounds.
This is particularly difficult for The Old Guard – members of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment who serve at Arlington. It is their task to bear the bodies of their fallen comrades and honor their sacrifice. The members of The Old Guard never forget the price of liberty – for they are reminded of it every day.
The Lord Jesus Christ died on Calvary’s cross and rose again to give us a much more important freedom – freedom from sin and its wages, which is both physical and eternal death. Believers in Christ have been given a reminder of just what our freedom cost the Lord; it’s called the Lord’s Supper. As we eat of the bread and drink of the cup, we fulfill our Lord’s command to “do this in remembrance of Me” (I Corinthians 11:24). But we should not leave our remembrances at the Lord’s Table. Living our lives for the Savior is an indication to those around us that we will never forget the great sacrifice He has made for us.
Paul wrote, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). Remembering what the Lord did for us in saving our souls from hell should cause us to want to live for Him.
Do you remember what the Lord Jesus did to give you spiritual freedom? The best thanksgiving is thanksliving. Live for Jesus and give thanks to Him! And one more thing – if you see a veteran this week, thank them for their service to our country. “All gave some, and some gave all” is more than a cliche — it’s the truth!