Monday, May 26, 2014

In This Free Land, By Thee Our Lot is Cast

I love Memorial Day and all holidays patriotic! I have great memories, just like you, of barbecues, running in the sprinklers, and knowing summer has just begun!  But I also have always been taught and reminded the significance of what these holidays mean.  Coming from a family with many that have served and are serving our country, and being married to a former marine, I know firsthand-as many others do-what our soldiers sacrifice.  Though I have not felt the sting of losing a loved one from war, I have a deep sense of gratitude to those who have fought and died for the freedoms that I enjoy.  But, as I have grown older and grown deeper in my relationship with God, I understand even more how precious this freedom is and how important it is to recognize that freedom comes with a cost...and a cross.  We don't all need a history lesson today, but it is important, as we are remembering, to note that our country was based and founded on the Word of God.  It was the love for God and the desire to have the freedom to worship Him that caused our founders to fight for independence and to be willing to lay down their lives.  Because of their love of God, they surely were reminded of the One who was willing to lay down His life for them.  They knew that Jesus willingly went to the cross, in obedience to the Father, to make them free.  Free from the bondage of sin.  Free to love and serve Him because of the righteousness of Christ.

Today, as you gratefully remember our heroes that have fallen, do not neglect to give thanks to the One who made and has sovereignly ruled this land.  Who places kings and rulers and holds them in derision. Who raises up the soldiers and gives them the courage to fight.  The One who gives us hope because of Jesus Christ.  Hope not based on the security of our nation, our freedoms, or peace.  Hope based on the atoning work of Jesus Christ.

Remember, as the early hymn-writer did, the source and reason for our freedom:

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.

Daniel C. Roberts