There's something about summer that just seems patriotic, isn't there?
Beginning with Memorial Day, kids finish school and families plan summer vacations. Pools open for the season and so many people head to the beach or have a backyard barbecue with family and friends.
I began the summer season by spending my Memorial Day weekend in Philadelphia. At church, we were reminded of different examples proving that freedom isn’t free. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our freedom from sin. In America, thanks to brave men and women, we have the freedom to publicly worship our God. I can't help but think of the many Christians around the world who are forced to hide underground or meet in secret, risking great suffering by family, friends, and their government.
My parents adopted me as an infant from South Korea. Ironically, my birthday is July 4th (or maybe not so ironically). Growing up, I always hated the fact that my birthday fell on a national holiday. I hated telling people when my birthday is (oh wait, I still do) because of the various responses I get, “Oh, everyone is celebrating your birthday!” or “You get fireworks every year for your birthday!”
As a kid growing up, I especially hated that my birthday was on a holiday because it meant never having a birthday party (unless it was with family) on my actual birthday. I had to celebrate with friends a week or two early or late. Once, I even tried to convince my parents that due to the time difference, my birthday could technically pass for July 3rd! I now realize that my thoughts were selfish.
As I grow and mature, I see examples of what it truly means to be free. I am grateful to be able to celebrate another year of life God has granted me. I am thankful that I can praise God openly and choose where I want to worship.
I am thankful for the men and women who have followed Jesus' sacrificial example to ensure our freedom. I am proud to say both of my grandfathers served our country in World War II, and I am proud to have known many who have or who are currently serving our country.
Jesus instructs us to, “Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:12-14, NIV).
Thank you to all the men and women who have and are laying down their lives to maintain our freedom!
This July 4th weekend, I challenge the readers of Live In The Round to thank a soldier or a veteran for their service.
See you in the round,
*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.