The motto of The Lutheran Reformation, “The Word of the Lord Endures Forever,” comes to mind as I ponder the coming Memorial Day.
Almost a half millennium has passed since Lutheran Princes bound together, under this motto, in a military league to defend their belief that Scripture Alone is the basis for what we believe. Closely linked to this was their understanding, growing from their Bible study, that God pours forth His gifts to us by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone. They risked life, death and property for these truths.
We continue to see the conviction that faith is worth our very lives as we see Middle Eastern Christians martyred by terrorists. In our protected spaces we give thanks that these threats to our liberties are “over there,” wherever “over there” may be. We share the pain of other believers while wondering, “Am I willing to give up everything, even life, for Jesus?”
As Christians we mourn the conflicts that spread through Europe in the sixteenth century. We mourn the need for current wars. Yet, this coming weekend, as we remember America’s fallen dead, we recall that we too believe some things are worth both life and death. This weekend we mourn the reality of war, while we remember with thanksgiving the sacrifices of those who gave their lives to preserve our liberties.
This Memorial Day, as we recall the sacrifices of our fallen dead, let us remember that life is so precious and valuable that there are things for which it is worthwhile to die. The greatest evidence that it can be worth giving up life itself is seen in Jesus Christ. He gave up His life to pay for our sins and win our salvation. The proof of His victory is His resurrection, which guarantees the resurrection of all who rest in Him.
By: Rev. Dr. Robert Holaday
Originally printed in Lamb County Leader News May 24, 2017. Section 1, p. 4.