Freedom (Memorial Day 2020)

2020-05-25 Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a special day in this country. It is a day we pause to honor those who have fallen in service to our nation, protecting our rights and defending our freedom. It is also a day to remember those in our own families who have passed on from this life.

For the Christ-follower, Memorial Day should also be a day we consider the death of Jesus on the cross. It should be a day to honor his sacrifice for us so that we might be truly free – free from the grips of hell. In my tradition we honor this each week by partaking of the Lord’s Supper, a time to commemorate the death that Jesus suffered for each of us. In Jesus’ death he paid the price for our sins and offered a path to God through his blood. When we believe in Jesus’ life-saving death on the cross, we are given eternal life with him.

So today, take time. Take time to pause and reflect on Jesus and what his sacrifice means for you personally and for the lives of those family members who have gone before you. And take time to remember the soldiers, men and women, who have given their lives so that we can live in a country where we can freely talk about and worship Jesus. Without their sacrifice we would not be free to do so; but Jesus’ sacrifice is what truly makes us free.

Fear and Freedom (Psalm 34:4)

Psalm 34 4

In this verse, David is proclaiming the victory he received after seeking out the Lord. It says that he “sought” the Lord. The word sought carries with it the idea of addressing a question and expecting an answer. It reminds me of playing Marco Polo – the person who has their eyes closed calls out “Marco” and expects the other players to respond with “Polo.” In the case of David, the person he seeks is the Lord. The answer he receives is from God. The result is that he was delivered (or freed) from his fear.

When we are in a place of fear, it can be immobilizing. It can consume us from the inside out. It causes emotional problems as well as physical distress. Fear can cause sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, pain or tightness in the chest, or a rapid heartbeat. Our body physically responds when we are afraid, anxious, or worried.

David was feeling this way, too. He was filled with fear and anxiety. His response, however, was not to cower in the corner; it was to cry out to the Lord. David had faith that when he sought the Lord, the Lord would answer him. And in that answer, David found true freedom.

God has given us all that same ability. When we are filled with fear, we should cry out to the Lord and expect him to respond. He probably won’t respond with a physical voice, though he could, but in our turning to Him, he will dissolve our fears. You can’t focus on Jesus and also focus on fear.

It reminds me of the song, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” I want to leave you with those lyrics:

O soul are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior

And life more abundant and free

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace