The Ultimate Sacrifice

Today is Memorial Day.  Who are you remembering today?

Memorial Day is set aside to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Giving their lives for our freedom.

I am blessed to have members of my family who served in several wars as well as during peaceful times. I am also blessed that none of them were required to give their lives in battle.

Still, today I remember them with a grateful heart.  My father, Raymond Serviss, served in the Air Force while his younger brother, John Serviss served in the Navy. Both had opportunity to see adventure but didn’t experience battle.

For my mother’s father, Wendall  Lucas,( I’ve written about him before), and his younger brother, Harley Lucas, it was  a different story.

My grandfather was a member of the 44th Tank Battalion stationed in the Philippines during WWII.  The flame throwers.  He rarely spoke about his experiences but when he did it was clear that his memories went far beyond what he was willing to talk about.

His younger brother was a paratrooper in Europe who landed behind enemy lines and was taken prisoner. He had memories best forgotten as well.

While my grandfather didn’t lose his life in WWII he made some significant sacrifices. When he was sent to Asia he left behind a 9-year-old daughter, a wife with heart problems, and her aging parents. During his tour his mother-in-law died and he wasn’t there to comfort his wife. While he was thousands of miles around the globe his heart was with those in his household. His child, his fragile wife and an old man who had just become a widower. Those he loved had been left to fend for themselves.

Family was the top priority for my grandfather.  To leave his family to care for themselves was one of the most difficult things he ever had to do. So many past and current members of the armed forces understand exactly how he felt.

It brings to mind the story of Jesus calling his disciples to give up everything, to leave jobs and family behind to follow him. (Luke 5)

We are all called to consider our priorities. Most of us aren’t called to physically leave our families behind. But in our hearts we must make the decision to give up everything to follow Christ.

If today, we can say that we are grateful for the sacrifices made by men and women who have defended our freedom, can we also acknowledge an even higher calling to take a stand to defend our faith?  To give honor to our God who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom for eternity.

For this we are truly thankful!

Matthew 16:24-26  Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?