More Than Self, Their Country Loved

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

As we sang this in church yesterday, I realized this verse summed up the reason we observe Memorial Day.

I’ve had a lot of things going through my mind lately, trying to find words to honor, and reflect on so many who have given their lives for freedom and our country.  I don’t know why it’s getting so hard to articulate as the years go on, because  in my heart, the sacrifices of men and women throughout our lives and history are there. They are ever present and always owed a debt of gratitude and honor that I can never repay fully.

Like our Lord who saves us… how can we repay something priceless?

As Christians we know we can never ‘make up’ or ‘do’ enough to be worthy of what Jesus did for us.  We do grow however in our walk, hopefully into serving, loving and encouraging others in His Name. Sharing what He has done for me, and you, and all the world, telling others and giving Him all the full glory of which He alone deserves. Every day.  We often mess up, but we don’t stay messed.  He cleans us up, and  sets us back on that road to do it again.

And then there are those  who preserve our lives by keeping watch, taking all the risk, all the flack and all the pain of war… giving up peace so we can have it.  Sometimes giving their very lives for  the rest of us.  Liberty is a priceless gift too. Not eternal as the  price  Jesus paid, but yet priceless  in  that so many of us have  never  had  to purchase it for ourselves.

Heroes proved  in liberating strife.  By their blood and lives we are holding onto freedom. There is nothing we can ‘do’ or make up for the child of Gold Star Parents, or the husband, wife, dad or mom, sibling and friend who gave their lives so we don’t have to.

What we can do  however is keep their sacrifices close to our  hearts, living our lives in a way that shows we are grateful for the freedom we’ve been afforded because of their sacrifices.  Serving if possible, those who make it home, loving and encouraging them, and giving honor and gratitude to those who so rightly deserve it.  Every day. Not just a once or twice a year ‘hey, thanks’.

As Americans, and Canadians, we need to really think of the gifts we’ve been given by so many we don’t know yet, Who more than self their country loved And mercy more than life!

I thank God every day that such men, and women have lived.  Have a blessed and thoughtful Memorial Day everyone.

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