This past weekend I participated in a great men’s retreat north of Philadelphia. I’ve only been on the east coast a handful of times so it was great to make new friends with a common bond of Christ. We drew closer to Christ, grew in our walk, and shared stories from our own pilgrimages. With the coming of Memorial Day this weekend I was struck with the power of some stories from older guys who lived through the Viet Nam War. I was born in 1969 so I have no real memory of that tragic chapter in the history of the United States. But these men know quite a bit about that season and still carry scars today. It was in one of our final discussions of the weekend that part of their pain became very clear to me. Like the vets from the Korean War; these Viet Nam survivors were and are forgotten along with so many who died there. (more…)
Today is Memorial Day in the US and while Christ followers have to keep central the reality that they are part of a bigger kingdom, the Bible still teaches us to give honor where honor is due. Memorial Day is such an occasion for that. On one hand, I’m not a fan of taking a Sunday morning church gathering and turning it into an American Patriotic service. Yet, on the other hand I do believe we can still give honor and recognition to those who have given the greatest sacrifice. In addition to that, as Kingdom citizens I believe we can learn some things from fallen vets and I think this clip from the Movie Black Hawk Down is illustrative of that. Some of you may remember the actual events from 1993 in Somalia. But in short, SFC Randall Shughart and MSG Gary Gordon willingly and purposefully gave their lives to save Black Hawk pilot Michael Durant. Lesson? As Kingdom citizens, we are to put Christ and others first. If you’ve wondered why authentic Christianity can sometimes seem lacking in the west, I believe it’s because we have forgotten something that Shughart and Gordon understood to the very core of their being. They knew that it was not about them, but others. So this Memorial Day, remember those who have fallen to save others. Remember the Christian Martyrs who gave their lives for Christ over the past 2000 years. Above all, remember our call as Citizens of the Kingdom of God to “deny ourselves and take up our Cross daily and follow Him.” What can you learn and implement from the example of Shughart and Gordon?