Pastor's Page

May 2004

A Lasting Memorial

This month we are going to once again observe Memorial Day. On this day we remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice on the field of battle. These were men and women who answered the call to serve our nation. They swore to uphold and defend the United States of America from enemies that would attack our liberties and freedom.

I was watching Band of Brothers on the History Channel. It is a mini-series that focuses on the exploits of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne in World War II. As I watched one of the last episodes of the series, one of the characters asked if the people back home truly appreciated just what the cost of battle was. I willingly watch series like this so that I can be reminded ever so much that the freedom that you and I take for granted is never free. It was established and maintained by the blood, sweat and tears of those who put on the uniform of our United States and went into harms way on our behalf. I only wish more of our people, young and old alike would pause and remember more often.

For when we remember that our freedom is bought with a price, I think we take better care of it. When we know the price of freedom not as a subject in a history book but in the cost of real life, we tend to hold freedom and citizenship in a higher light. It is when our generations forget that war is hell and it costs real lives, that we forget and cheapen our freedoms.

The same can go for our freedoms in Christ as well. As May moves along, we will get all wrapped up in all Mother's Day, musicals, graduations and the ever-warming weather, it is easy for us to start to lose sight of Easter. As it grows farther behind us on the calendar, it may begin to grow cold in our memories.

But the Work of Jesus Christ is not something that we bring out only once a year in the spring. It is not something that gets set aside with the school books and winter clothes. Our Lord has placed His cross before us as a lasting memorial.

It reminds us that our freedom isn't free. You and I are free from sin, death, and hell because our Brother Jesus Christ entered the battlefield and offered His life once for all. His blood avails for our freedom. His death gives us life. His blood is the pardon we need from the sin that we struggle with every day. For this reason, we can't let the memory of what Christ has done for us to grow cold.

Just as much as you and I should take the time to recall the sacrifices that the men and women made on the battlefields of Europe, South Pacific, Korea, Southeast Asia and now Iraq, it is critical that you and I never forget the sacrifice that Jesus has made for us.

In order to help us remember, God has given us a lasting memorial. That comes in the form of Word and Sacrament. Bible, Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the lasting memorial that Christ has given us of what He has done for us. How about that? He does all the work and helps us recall His work on our behalf! This is the kind of God we have.

Never forget! Never forget what our servicemen and women have done for us. God also grants us the grace to never forget the lasting memorial He has given us in the cross, the empty tomb and the Lord's Supper.

See you in the Lord's house, around His table, digging deeply into His Word. For there we find the lasting memorial!

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