Recently some friends, my wife and I were blessed to take a trip to our nation’s capital. While there we visited several of the war memorials, which honored those that have served our country during times of conflict. Many of those honored gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we are able to enjoy a life of freedom.
While we were at the Vietnam Memorial, I observed the many visitors that passed by the wall of remembrance. Some were standing pointing at names of soldiers that could have been a relative or friend they knew. There were some that were overcome with emotion and stood weeping as they gazed at the names on the wall. There were those, with great respect, that walked silently by the wall. There were some that walked by laughing, talking and acted as if this was just a walk in the park. They did not seem to have a grasp on the seriousness or significance of what they were able to witness or the fact that these soldiers gave their life and families gave their loved ones so they could have the privilege of living in a free society.
We are approaching another national holiday as we celebrate the birth of the United States of America. So many times when we have these days set aside we tend to forget that freedom is not free. We takes these days and go on vacations, have cookouts, families and friends get together and we never take time to think about those who gave their lives on battlefields all over the world so that we can live free.
Then my mind turns to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He also was slain in the battle between good and evil so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin, fear and death. Yet so many of us when we meet at church just go through our traditions, rituals or the motions of worship. We really take no thought of Jesus and the ultimate price he paid to cover our sins. We come to church for what we can get out of our time there and never think about what we can do to bring honor, glory and praise to our Savior. We come into the house of God talking more about what happened on Saturday night or what we are going to be doing on Sunday afternoon than focusing on truly worshipping our Savior Jesus Christ.
We often want to look at those that were disrespectful at the war memorials and say, “I can’t believe they would act that way” and yet we treat God with that same disrespect when we are so complacent in our worship and praise for Him.
As we celebrate the birth of our nation on Monday let us take time to thank God for the sacrifices of men and women that have made our nation free. When we go into our churches on Sundays or Wednesdays let us remember the real reason for our being there. We are to focus on worshipping our savior and praising God for sending His Son to this earth to die on the cross so that our sins could be washed white as snow by the precious blood of Jesus, to God be the glory. May God bless the United States of America.
Rev. Tim Burton is minister of Flippin Memorial Baptist Church.