How are you preparing for Memorial Day weekend? Are you packing your bags for a much anticipated trip? Are you preparing yourself for a family reunion that you are either excited about or dreading? Or is it just another weekend with an extra day off for everyone but you?
Most of us don’t feel the weight of the reason for this weekend. Most of us didn’t find ourselves in a situation where we stood helpless as our brothers and sisters in arms fell in the line of duty. Most of us don’t wake up in the night with memories of those fallen comrades running through our minds. Or feel the weight of survivor’s guilt. Most of us look at this weekend and hope for sunshine.
But not all of us. Last night I had a conversation with a man who served two tours and was only one of three who came home. For him, and so many others who have given and committed their lives, Memorial Day weekend is a time to honor those who understand the weight of sacrifice, a time to remember those who gave their lives for you, for me, for others who they will never meet – and even for those who don’t appreciate that they gave their all. During the course of our conversation this man made a comment that later, as I reflected on his words, hit me pretty hard. He said, “people just don’t understand the reason men and women join the military. People don’t understand why we are willing to die for them, even the ones who hate us for it.”
As I read through Ephesians I am again struck by the weight of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. And with that, I am struck again by the weight of my responsibility to share the Gospel and to tell people why He gave his life to save us. In Ephesians 1:13 it says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation.”
How will people understand if they don’t hear? How will they hear if we don’t share? How will our friends and loved ones find hope? We must share the hope that we have heard. The hope in the message of Christ’s sacrifice.
The message that God, who made the universe, created us, came to live a perfect life, died on the cross, shed his blood not just for the sake of it, but for our sins so that we can be forgiven! Then He rose again from the dead and offers us eternal life if we repent of sins and trust in Him. This is the good news! This is the hope that we must share.