I was talking to one of our missionary partners, Paul Wiegert, the other day. As you read this, Paul and Kelly are in training offered by TMS Global. They hope to head to Peru sometime this summer. Being in Peru gave him a new appreciation for the freedom we enjoy here in America.
When I returned, I found one of his “Wiegert Watch” prayer letters which he had written before Memorial Weekend. Paul had written:
We hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend! We are so thankful to
all those who fought or are fighting for our country. When you live in another
country, it truly helps you appreciate all the benefits of living in a free country.
-Paul, Kelly & kids
Sometimes we do forget the benefits of living in this free country. Yes, this country has its problems. Still, many in the world would gladly switch countries with us.
We are a free country because of persons who paid the price for freedom. And that price continues to be paid. There are Americans around the world who serve in our military. While we enjoy a long weekend, they are standing guard on our behalf. We need to make sure we remember to give thanks for them and the freedom they make possible.
As I think of freedom, I also think of the greatest freedom of all, the freedom Christ purchased for us on the cross. Just as our freedom as Americans has come at great cost so has our eternal freedom. Christ died for our freedom from sin and death.
The growth of the Church has also come with a great price as well. All but one of the first disciples of Jesus died the death of a martyr. Those Disciples believed so strongly that Jesus is Savior and Lord they put their lives on the line to be a follower of Jesus. We see the boldness of Peter in the 4th chapter of Acts, standing before the same Jewish leaders who had Jesus arrested and crucified, and proclaimed to them salvation in the name of Jesus. Peter was later killed because of his faith in Jesus Christ. And that was the case not only for those first disciples but for thousands who came to faith in Jesus Christ in the early centuries of the Church. We have the Church today because they paid the price.
In parts of our world today there are still persons who are dying for their faith in Jesus Christ. Our Bishop has reminded us to pray for the persecuted followers of Jesus around the world. Their faith in Jesus is so strong they would rather die than deny their Lord.
As you experience Memorial Weekend, remember to give thanks. Give thanks for those who have paid the great price for our freedom as Americans, for freedom of worship, and for the greatest freedom of all, our salvation.
Your responses to these Reflections are always welcomed.
You can email me at email@example.com