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The Greatest Gift - Love

The Greatest Gift - Love

Posted by David Dodd on 25th May 2020

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." John 15:13

On Memorial Day, we honor those who demonstrated the greatest love, " lay down one’s life for one’s friend." We honor those who’s time on earth was cut short, who missed many of life’s joys, who never married, who did not grow old with their soulmate, who did not see their children grow, who did not enjoy retirement. We honor widows who lost the love of their life, children who lost a father or mother, parents who lost a son or daughter, and siblings who lost a sister or brother. Today is a day we focus on the single most important thing in life, love.

When a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine takes the oath of enlistment, they pledge their very life to defend the many freedoms all Americans enjoy. Tragically, since 9/11, 7,047 Americans have been killed while protecting the many freedoms 330,000,000 Americans enjoy. Each death is word picture of the greatest love. You see, no one was drafted or conscripted into service, each of these brave souls volunteered. They knew the risks of war, and in-spite of the risks, courageously they went forward into combat. They risked their lives for people they did not know. That was love.

These brave Americans died defending the rights every American enjoys, as guaranteed in the US Constitution. The framers of the constitution acknowledged the inalienable rights of the many in this powerful phrase from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain Inalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness.” Inalienable rights include:

  • To act in self-defense
  • To own private property
  • To work and enjoy the fruits of one’s labor
  • To move freely within the country or to another country
  • To worship freely or refrain from worshipping within a freely-chosen religion
  • To be secure in one’s home
  • To think freely

As Americans, we enjoy freedom, peace, and security paid for by the brave men and women we honor today on this Memorial Day. Today is a day of reflection, a time to pause and count our many blessings, a time to thank God for the opportunity to live in America, and a time to thank God for the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. Today is a time to pray for the Gold Star families who grieve daily for those who died so that we might live free. Today is a day to ask, what can I do for Gold Star Family Members, how can I support those currently serving in uniform, what can I do to honor the sacrifices made for me and my family?

Thankfully, we can honor and personally thank those who gave their lives. Jesus made a way for Believers to be united for all of eternity. How? He died a horrible death on the cross, to give His life as a ransom for the sins of all who accept Him as Lord and Savior. He promises that all who believe are forgiven for every sin they commit, and He promises we will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” Jesus gave his life for our eternal freedom. The men and women we honor on Memorial Day gave their lives for the many freedoms we enjoy here on earth. Today, we honor both Jesus and the Soldier for their selfless service and their ultimate sacrifice.

In summary, today we honor every Fallen Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, their precious family members, and Jesus Christ. We honor their priceless gift - Love.

I close this message with Charles Michael Province's poem which articulates the value of the American Soldier's love.

"It is the Soldier, not the minister, Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer, Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician, Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag."


David Dodd