This week I attended our city’s annual Memorial Day tribute. I always enjoy gathering with community members to say the pledge of allegiance, hear the Star Spangled Banner, listen to Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, hear Taps, and watch the release of doves, a symbol of peace. The event speaker this year was a newly graduated second lieutenant. As I listened to her youthful spirit, I sensed the passing of the baton to the next generation.
I was proud.
At one point in the ceremony, all members in active duty were asked to stand, then veterans, and then family members of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Our applause was hearty for all.
Memorial Day is about remembering those who died in active duty serving our country. This year I found myself also remembering Someone who died for the freedom of all people.
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)
I thought about the spiritual battle waging all around us.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
As a Christian, I join forces with all Christians on the globe to fight for the ultimate freedom of all people through Jesus Christ. Together, we wage war against the schemes of the enemy.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
I am a soldier.
Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. (2 Timothy 2:2-4)
This was my prayer on Memorial Day of 2019:
Father, thank you for each and every soldier who died to provide and protect the freedom our country enjoys today. Thank you, also, that Jesus died so that every person has the opportunity to live a life of freedom in Christ.
I want you to know, Lord, I have enlisted as a soldier in the kingdom of God. I am on active duty and wish to be found serving You until I take my final breath. It is honor to serve in the army of the Kingdom of God.
Amen. Love, Laurie
Picture Explanation: The last photo was sent to me this week by a friend visiting her dad’s graveside. Foster Donaldson was her dad and had also become my friend. He served as a soldier for the United States of America for four years. In addition, however, in the over 90 years he was a Christian, Foster served as a soldier on active duty for the kingdom of God for over 60 of those years, 35 of which were overseas. He fought the good fight of the gospel until he took his last breath. His final words to me in the last week of his life last year were, “I’ll see you in heaven.” All of us can live like him, as soldiers.
Summer Plan: Each summer, blog readership plummets, so I scale back on the length of my posts. This year I will be publishing “Summer Snippets,” focused on relationship and prayer reminders. Why? As the hot months of unstructured time string together, we can be tempted to become snappy with people and allow our prayer and Bible reading routines to lose their rigor. I hope the weekly snippets serve as guardrails to keep us on track. Please stayed tuned in and have a great summer.
Someone in our family turns 15 today. Happy Birthday, my son. You make our family better. Pictures next week.
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