June 5, 2008
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Galatians 1:6-7
Last week, President Bush called upon Americans to remember and honor our veterans on Memorial Day.
Bush was almost poetic when he said, "No words are adequate to console those who have lost a loved one serving our nation. We can only offer our prayers and join in their grief. We grieve for the mother who hears the sound of her child's 21-gun salute. We grieve for the husband or wife who receives a folded flag. We grieve for a young son or daughter who only knows Dad from a photograph."
On the holiday that for many people marks the beginning of summer, he suggested a number of ways people might remember. They could, for example, place a flag on the grave of a Vet, or go to a battlefield, or say a prayer of appreciation.
In short, on Memorial Day, the President asked people to remember.
Did they? The National Baseball League did as it stopped its games at 3:00 p.m. Amtrak did when its engineers blew the whistles of their trains at that same hour; buglers at our military cemeteries did as they played taps to honor the dead.
But did Americans remember? Some did and some didn't. It's hard to remember, and it's easy to forget.
That is also true in regard to the Savior, who sacrificed Himself to win the salvation of sinners. Because people were forgetting what Jesus had done for them, St. Paul wrote to the church in Galatia: "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him. . . . " In the few short years since the Savior had died and risen, people had forgotten His supreme act of love and were turning to other, newer, distorted gospels.
That shouldn't be. God's people always do well to remember they have forgiveness because Jesus was declared guilty. We have to remember we have salvation because of His sacrifice, and we have eternal life because Jesus died and rose.
In the temporal and the eternal worlds, it is always right to remember and give thanks for those who gave themselves so others might be free.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, many things occupy our minds and take up our time. May we never forget You who died to set us free from sin, death, and Satan. Please help us remember and worship You. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries