I just returned from the annual Memorial Day observance at the local cemetary where it was my honor to be the speaker at this year’s event.  The American Legion does a fine job of honoring the brave men and women who have given their lives to secure the freedom we so easily take for granted.  I was pleased, although a bit surprised, to see that so many of the people in the community would attend such an event.  I am not aware that such things happen back in the area of Kentucky, where I grew up.  The cemetary in Dunkerton has a long line of flag poles right up the middle of the park, and every one of them had an American flag flying proudly in the morning breeze.  It was truly a wonderful, inspiring sight to see.  I am posting my speech (sermonette?) here, in case someone would like to read it.

The United States of America will soon commemorate the 231st anniversary of the birth of this great nation. Today, we remember the great price that has been paid, both to secure the founding of our Republic and to maintain the liberty we have enjoyed since that time. Freedom comes at a very high price, a price that must be paid by the blood of courageous men and women who believe that their lives are worth sacrificing so that others may live in freedom. It is a great tragedy for a people to neglect so great a sacrifice, so today we gather and pause to pay tribute to the ones who have fought and died for our benefit.

Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” The lives we honor today are tremendous of value to each of us, and we should never discount them. However, the life that Jesus gave to secure eternal freedom extends not just to citizens of any single nation, but to all those who place their faith and trust in Him alone for the forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life. The liberty we enjoy as Americans can, and will erode because it is of human effort. But the liberty from the eternal consequences of our sin that faith in Jesus brings will never fade because the substitutionary, sacrificial death of Jesus is sufficient to satisfy fully the righteous requirements of God’s justice.

It isn’t popular in our society to talk about, but the truth is that this nation was founded by men who recognized that the Christian faith is necessary for a people to experience true freedom. It is both incorrect and foolish to ignore the fact that our national heritage is undeniably tied to our Christian heritage.

Georgia Ann Geyer, a syndicated columnist for UPI wrote, “I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to have a moral community or nation without faith in God, because without it everything rapidly comes down to “me,” and “me” alone is meaningless. Today Americans have stopped acting in terms of their own moral, ethical and religious beliefs and principles. They’ve stopped acting on what they knew was right — and the “me” has become the measure of everything. However, moral societies are the only ones that work. If anyone thinks there is not a direct and invaluable relationship between personal integrity in a society and that society’s prosperity, that person has simply not studied history. And this should not surprise us. Great moral societies, built upon faith in God, honor, trust, and the law blossom because they are harmonious; because people love or at least respect their fellowman; because, finally, they have a common belief in something beyond themselves. It simplifies life immensely; you do not waste and spend your days fighting for turf, for privilege, for money and power over your fellowman.”

“Alexis de Tocqueville said it best when he realized even at the very beginning of our national life, ‘America is great because America is good. If America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.'”

Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.” America’s best hope is not in domestic nor foreign policy. It is neither in tax cuts nor increased entitlements. It is not in military might nor brilliant diplomacy. America’s best hope lies in one place alone – in Christ Jesus, because it is in Christ alone that real life can be found. We all agree with the sentiment of “God bless America.” I would offer another version in addition – “America, bless God!” That is how we can best honor the brave men and women who have fought and died to keep us free.

I want to direct your attention to another article I found on the Internet this morning.  You can read it here.

Have a great Memorial Day, and never forget the price that has been paid, and is still being paid, to protect our freedom.