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Thoughts on Memorial Day

[ 0 ] May 24, 2012 |

There is a new TV show called Hollywood Treasures where an auction team looks for items from movie history to auction. It is amazing what they find and equally amazing what people want and what they are willing to pay. “Robbie the Robot” from a 50s science fiction movie, Forbidden Planet, is worth more than million, so are the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. The car from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang went for almost a million. The most expensive piece of movie memorabilia was the Aston Martin from the James Bond movie Thunderball  — over $4 million. But the truth is that something only has the value of what someone is willing to pay for it.

As we approach Memorial Day weekend, we remember the amazing gifts that men and women have made since the beginning of the nation — people willing to give their lives for America, for their family and friends, for their fellow soldiers, sailors and marines, for you and me. These gifts of life in many ways define what America is, the value of a country where freedom and faith so under girds how we see ourselves. Few things remind me who I am as an American Christian more than a head stone in a national cemetery marked by headings like WW ll, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. I worked at a national cemetery while in college that had headstones marking the Revolutionary War as well as both sides of the Civil War and wars up through Vietnam. Every year I helped put American flags on each grave on Memorial Day, including the graves of Confederate soldiers. When we neglect these memories, we neglect who we are as Americans — those of us whose family history goes back to the Mayflower and those who are still becoming Americans today through the generous nature of the American spirit. Sacrifice is the defining truth of value. Those many headstones that extend from the national cemetery in Grand Prairie to cemeteries in places like Normandy and Iwo Jima speak of what this country really is and what it is to say, “I am an American!” The sacrifice made by men and women all over the world is the defining truth of the value of America and our identity.

As Christians, we celebrate this truth even further. In the book of Romans, we are told that, “Scarcely would someone die for a righteous person, but God proved his love toward us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.” If the sacrifices made by so many grounds America in the knowledge of who we are, then the sacrifice of God in giving his Son on the cross grounds Christians in the knowledge of who we are. The price that one is willing to pay tells the real story of value. God paid the highest price in his love toward us. Remember who you are this Memorial Day weekend.


Category: Weekly Thoughts

About miker: I am the Senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Mansfield where I have led the Church for more than 15 years. Our mission statement is "Making disciples of Jesus Christ who will love God, love others, and serve the world. This has been taken so to heart by this Church family that First Mansfield has become one of the top 50 attended Methodist Churches in nation impacting not only our local area, but our denomination and world. View author profile.

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