It has been quite a while since I posted. So, what I’m going to start doing is sharing some of the devotionals I’ve written for the City of Bryan Fire Department. This is the one I sent out for today in honor of Memorial Day…
Allow me a moment to vent! It seems that American culture feels that it is their civic duty to make a political statement wherever and whenever they feel like it. While I agree that we have this right under the Constitution of the United States and its Amendments, it seems that in so doing, we have forgotten the basic concepts of respect, dignity, and honor. Let me illustrate.
Under the leadership of Colin Kaepernick, athletes disrespected our National Anthem by taking a knee in protest of the politics of our day. This contagious animosity trickled horizontally throughout the NFL plus other professional sports and vertically downward to high school athletics and everything in between. The National Anthem is not about politics. It’s about the love and loyalty to a country that has represented freedom since its inception. It’s about the foundation of our country. It’s about respect and honor.
Then, just last week, we read about those students who walked out of their college commencement exercises at Penn State, just because Vice President Pence was the keynote speaker. Penn State did the right thing by not allowing those students back in after the speech had finished. Now, think about this. Dads and moms who suffered through those college years and had spent thousands of dollars to purchase that education are sitting in the audience, waiting to see the fruit of their labors. However, instead of seeing their kid come forward, they watch their kid exit to the rear. The child retreated in the face of something they didn’t like, trying to make a political statement. If my kid had done that…..
I’ve got news for you, dear College Graduate. There will be LOTS in life you don’t like or agree with. You can’t just walk out. You have to face those challenges, showing respect and honor to those involved. You do not have to agree with the person but you had better learn to respect and dignify their position. The VP of the USA is an office to which only 48 men have attained. It is an important office and deserves honor according to the Bible and according to basic rules of decency. Even Hitler shook the black hand of Jesse Owens after Owens’ victory in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. To walk out of your college graduation is a slap in the faces of your parents, the institution, and VP Pence.
And, now we come to Memorial Day. Through the years, people have made political statements by refusing to attend these services, claiming that they don’t agree with the Commander in Chief or the particular war that is going on at this time. However, we don’t go to that cemetery for political reasons. We go to honor the memory of the dead.
Lives were given that we might live freely. Of the almost two million who have died in service to our country, I’m certain that they did not agree 100% with the politics of their time. But, they saw a greater need and something more valuable than their opinion or their rights. Tomorrow, we go to honor their sacrifice which is far above the value of making political statements.
In John 15:13, we read, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” If ever a “political” statement could have been made, Jesus could have made it!
Holy God did not agree at all with sinful man (and, by the way, we are ALL sinners). He was opposed to all that we were from the inside out. However, Jesus didn’t walk out on us. He “walked” TO us. He left his heavenly home, took on the form of humanity, and sacrificed Himself on Calvary’s cross so that we could have our sins forgiven. He arose from the grave so that we could have a new life in Christ. Jesus did ALL of this for us.
Jesus could have said, “I want to make a statement!” and turned His back on us. He could have condemned us all to an eternal hell. But, He didn’t. He loved us. As the song says, “He looked beyond my fault and saw my need.”
As we stand at the Memorial Day services, hear the speeches, watch the wreaths being placed, and hear the band play patriotic songs, remember that this has nothing to do with politics. It’s not about Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Moderates, or whatever other label you may claim.
It’s about remembering. It’s about sacrifice. It’s about honor. It’s about respect.