May 30

“You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead.”  Psalm 16:10

“Consequently Jesus is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”  Hebrews 7:25

This has been a week of honor and remembrance, flags and flowers.  This day, May 30, was originally designated Decoration Day, in 1868, to decorate the graves of Civil War dead.  Memorial Day is now a day we honor all deceased military with graveside ceremonies, and also all departed loved ones. 

This year today, May 30, happens to be the Christian commemoration of Jesus’ Ascension into heaven.   Remember Good Friday, when Jesus gave up his life for others – all others?  The third day, when Jesus’ dear ones approached his tomb bringing oil, and grief?  And Easter, when our sanctuary is awash not in tears, but in celebration of redemption and new life?

“Freedom is not free” we say, remembering those who have serve(d), many who died, earning our independence and defending freedom.  Our spiritual freedom was not free for Jesus, surrendering his life as a ransom for all.

But for us it is free, a gift of God’s grace.  Or is it?  I believe we owe a debt for this hard-fought freedom, redemption and new life.  Recently I read of children’s lessons in another country, teaching that with rights comes duty:  the right to enough to eat brings a duty to not waste; the right to a clean environment comes with a duty to care for the earth.  Freedom was meant for all, with equal rights, and it comes with a duty to advocate justice and fairness for all.  God’s mercy was meant for all, and it is our duty to live as God intended, with mercy and grace.

“I gave My life for thee.  My precious blood I shed,
That thou might ransomed be, And raised up from the dead.
I gave My life for thee.  What hast thou given for Me?”  Amen     (Frances Havergal)

Verla Olson