May 28, 2012
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good. ... Psalms 103:2-5a
Leslie H. Sabo Sr. died in 1977.
He died without knowing the whole story of his son's death. That's not surprising. There were very few people who knew how Army Specialist Leslie Sabo, Jr. spent his last moments on May 10, 1970.
This is Sabo's story: He was serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Cambodia when his unit was ambushed by a superior North Vietnamese force. Sabo charged one group of soldiers and killed some. Then he turned on another group and made them fall back. It was during that second charge that an enemy grenade landed at his feet. Sabo picked it up and threw it back, and then he used his own body as a shield to protect a wounded friend. Sabo's last charge was against an enemy emplacement. He threw a grenade, which put them out of commission.
That grenade also took Sabo's life.
It was a brave thing that Specialist Sabo did. Too bad his actions were forgotten for over 40 years.
Indeed, it was entirely by accident that a reporter came across Sabo's story, shared it and set the wheels in motion which, on May 16th, granted a posthumous Medal of Honor to the fallen soldier.
You know, it's a sad thing when people forget the sacrifices of those who died to grant them freedom.
It's sad when a nation forgets its soldiers.
It's sad when individuals forget their Savior.
You see, 2,000 years ago, Jesus of Nazareth led a charge against the forces that had dominated and subjugated this world. It was a one-Man charge: a mission which was sure to end in the death of the Person making it.
Knowing what was demanded, what was necessary if sinners were to be forgiven and the lost were to be saved, Jesus made that charge.
Read His story, and you will see He did not hesitate; He did not complain, and He did not try to save Himself. Jesus gave His all, so we might be freed from the tyranny of sin and the devil, from the overwhelming power of death.
No, it's a sad thing when people forget. This is why this devotion is designed to help you remember two who gave themselves so others might live.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for having given up Your life so I might be forgiven and saved, I offer my thanks. Grant that I never forget what You have done. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries