We celebrated Memorial Day earlier this week. It is a holiday in which we remember and honor those who have given their lives while serving in the armed forces, protecting our freedoms and land.
Many put out their flags, went to a parade, and attended a barbeque. We don’t want to forget those banded together, to win the battles so we could enjoy each day here in our country.
This turned my thoughts to the battles we fight every day in each of our lives.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, NLT)
As children, our mom brought us to VBS in a neighborhood church not our own. It was held faithfully every morning for two weeks. It opened the same way each day … all the children were lined up in the foyer by age and we marched into the sanctuary singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”. Every day for two weeks, we sang all five stanzas.
The words of the old hymn are embedded in my memory. As children we were learning Christ wins every battle. But we also learned the Body of Christ stands as one – those who have gone before and those yet alive – joined together as one.
“Like a mighty army
Moves the Church of God:
Brothers, we are treading
Where the saints have trod;
We are not divided,
All one Body we””
One in faith and Spirit,
Crowns and thrones may perish,
Kingdoms rise and wane;
But the Church of Jesus
Constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never
’Gainst the Church prevail;
We have Christ’s own promise,
Which can never fail.”
(from the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers)
We sang these words as children, at the top of our lungs, probably never even comprehending the powerful truth which would remain as truth for all of our days.
And it is a promise the Jesus Himself gave to Peter and to us:
“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ”˜rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18, NLT)
Memorial Day reminds me of the dependence I have upon others to maintain and protect the freedoms I enjoy each and every day.
This year it also brought the powerful reminder that I am to live dependently on the One who fights my spiritual battles.
The truth of the matter is I cannot live independent of Jesus,
Â for He is my life.