Monday, May 30, 2011


For many families this is a weekend for bar-b-q and fun in the pool.  I have many wonderful memories of the whole family at my grandparents pool on weekends like this, or at the beach or a spring where we would enjoy hamburgers and hotdogs and get burnt to a crisp while splashing in the surf or tubing down the rapids at Rock Springs in the wonderfully cold water.  I don't know about any of you, but I never really thought about why we celebrate this unofficial "Beginning of Summer" weekend when I was a kid.  I just enjoyed it.

Now that I'm grown I have a better understanding and know that this day is set aside as a remembrance.  I love that I live in the USA and enjoy so many freedoms the rest of the world, especially women in the rest of the world, do not have.  I thank God for the veterans who have fought and especially for those who have died for that.  Today is a day to remember them.

But, even as we remember their sacrifice, there is one who paid a bigger price for us, and he has also left us a symbol of remembrance.  I was blessed with the opportunity to worship with my brother and his wife yesterday, and, as we took communion as the ultimate symbol of remembrance, the pastor challenged us to remember the life and death of the One who gave all for us.  He did not give himself for us out of a sense of duty, nor out of a sense of pride, but out of the purest love, agape. He didn't give himself for the life of a friend, or even for the life of a country, but for the redemption of the whole world and everyone in it.  Most importantly he didn't fight in a battle to save his own life, but he freely laid it down because he knew it was the only way any could have true peace with God and even with ourselves.  This Memorial Day remember and be thankful.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What's to Celebrate?

News travels very fast in the world  today.  I went to bed early last night, not knowing what had happened half way around the world. This morning I woke up to facebook posts, blogs, and news stories informing the world about the death of Osama Bin Laden.  The reactions were mixed, some posts were jubilant, some were attempts to put a comical spin on the situation (as I'm certain many late night comedians will attempt to do), others were concerned and sincere. As I consider the events of the last few days, I cannot help but wonder what they mean for the future.  Undoubtedly some of Bin Laden's followers will want to strike back and avenge his death. After all defending someone that we sincerely believe is right is a natural human response that even the Apostle Peter was prone to give in to.  Surely this event is not the end of terrorism and all the horrors that it brings any more than Hitler's death brought an end to war or genocide on the planet. So what are we celebrating and what should our response as Christians be?

I remember 9/11/2001 very well.  I remember coming into the day room at the dorm and watching live coverage as the plane hit the second tower.  I remember the feeling that, I think, struck all of us at that moment.  The feeling of wanting revenge and of needing to blame someone.  But Romans 12 gives instructions to Christians what to do.  Verse 21 says, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  Paul wants us to remember that we are to reach out in peace, as ambassadors representing the goodness of God.  We need not seek retribution, just as Jesus did not seek it on the cross.  We should not rejoice of the death of one who has done so much wrong, but we should pray for those who are angered by it, that they would find the peace of God.  I want to close this blog with the facebook status I found to be most appropriate and thoughtful.  "Rejoice that he will no longer kill. But mourn that he never knew Christ."