2007-05-29 - Memorial Day
John 15:13 (NIV) Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
On May 28th, 2007, the US is celebrating Memorial Day, which is a time set aside for remembrance and appreciation of those who have served their fellow man self-sacrificially.
If you attended the church of your choice yesterday, or picked up your Bible today, thank God for the freedom that was bought for you to do this. Even today, in some countries, we could be arrested for attending a church not approved by the government (as in China), or just for reading a Bible. Some Christians lose their jobs, are tortured and even killed.
Throughout the years, members of the armed services have sacrificed their "normal" lifestyles, their well-being - and sometimes their very lives, to secure and preserve freedom for their own countries, as well as for others.
And every day, our police officers and firefighters risk their safety to "protect and serve." It used to be said that police work was "99% boredom and 1% sheer terror." No more can that be said. There is potential danger on every call. And instead of thanks, too often law enforcement personnel - who are understaffed as well as underpaid - face abuse and lack of respect from the very ones for whom they sacrifice. Just today in Atlanta, a firefighter lost his life, fighting a house fire. Please pray for his loved ones. And many are fighting the 500,000+ acre fire in Southeast Georgia and North Florida. (Please pray for them, as well.)
You hear about the rare cases of corruption in the military or law enforcement or among paramedics / firefighters, just as you hear about the rare aviation accidents. But by far, the great majority are hardworking, dedicated and worthy of our respect and appreciation.
I encourage you that the next time you see someone from the armed services or law enforcement, you show them appreciation - and thank God for providing these examples of Christlike sacrifice.