ADVENT, DAY ELEVEN
This morning Gary and I found ourselves walking the hallowed grounds of the Crownsville Military Cemetery, located in Crownsville, MD, as we participated in the “Wreathes Across America” annual Christmas wreath laying. There were over 250 former soldiers, fathers, sons, wives, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, scouts, and grateful citizens in attendance, and each were given wreaths to place on the grave of their choice. Over 1100 wreathes were placed today at this cemetery alone. My uncle fought during Vietnam, and so I looked intently for a Vietnam Veteran’s grave to lay my wreath, in honor of his heroic service to our country. No one interred in that cemetery would question the cost of freedom. As the speaker today stated,
“Freedom is never free”.
Freedom is always at the cost of someone’s life and blood.
Jesus spoke it well, not too long before he gave his own blood at the price of our freedom:
However, those soldiers and their families interred, gave their lives not only for their friends, but also for those whom they would never know, and at times even gave their lives for their personal enemies – people with ideologies and beliefs that they would never agree with – all for the sake of freedom.
A small picture of the love which motivated Jesus to bleed for us.
He died for –
Men, women, and children who grow up using his name to express hatred and anger.
People who see him as a “wonderful man” but not “the Son of God”.
People who would, in his name, defame and destroy.
People who would see him as a fairy tale character weak enough to not fight back.
Upright people who believe they don’t need a Savior – blind to their own shackles.
People who see him as someone not even worth thinking about at all.
We became the object of his love. All for freedom.
He knew there was no other way to freedom than to sacrifice his all. For us who could not, without him, gain freedom at all.
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
True freedom always comes with a price tag.
Today, as I remember those who have paid the price for my personal freedom, I honor them with my gratitude. I also remember the Savior who gave so much more. He signed over my debt to himself, with his signature in blood. Thus guaranteeing that my debt, as well as the debt of any who would allow him to pay it for them, was paid in full. For this, I am eternally grateful.
Grateful for freedom.
Thanks for listening,
With love and prayers,
p.s. You may also wish to read the prior days to this series: Advent Day Ten – The Gift of Discipline Advent Day Nine – The Gift of Gratitude Advent Day Eight – The Gift of The Word Advent Day Seven – The Gift of Song Advent Day Six – The Gift of Unfailing Love Advent Day Five – The Gift of Uncompromising Love Advent Day Four – The Gift of Enduring Love Advent Day Three, The Gift of Incomprehensible Love Advent Day Two – The Gift of Peace Advent Day One – The Gift of Becoming Clean Advent Prelude 2015