Memorial Day has become one of the most significant observances that my wife and I practice each year. We initially made attending the Memorial Day ceremony in my hometown a priority because both of my parents served in the Army during World War II. My mom served for two years stateside as an administrative assistant in the Army Air Force, and Dad served for nearly four years in the infantry and spent most of that time in the Pacific theater fighting in Papua New Guinea and the surrounding islands.
Over the years, I have come to understand and appreciate the sacrifices they made to purchase my freedom. They were engaged in a conflict of epic proportions with a clear-cut sense of right and wrong, good and evil, and they did what they believed was the right thing to do—no matter the cost to themselves. Therefore, observing Memorial Day in order to honor those who died for the cause of freedom and justice became a part of our family’s tradition.
This year, I was given the privilege of being the speaker for the ceremony held each year at the cemetery in my little hometown, and it was my joy to fill that role. As I contemplated the significance of the day and that for which it stands, I learned something deeper about my faith as well. We set aside this day to remember, to pause our busy, stressed-out lives, in order to reflect on the cost of the political and cultural freedoms that we enjoy in this land. I pondered what would happen if we didn’t do this. The likely outcome would be that we would forget the sacrifices that so many made for our benefit over the centuries, and we would soon forget the reasons we cherish freedom so much in the first place.
At the same time, this is precisely the reason that it is important for Christians to regularly reflect on what the Lord has done for us. If we don’t regularly reflect on the Lord’s sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross for us, we will soon forget the reason it is important, and, eventually, we will forget the reason that the forgiveness of sins and the freedom of our souls is so precious. That is the reason the theme of remembering what the Lord has done for us is so important. Throughout the Bible, we see this theme used as a means to keep faith fresh and affections for the Lord strong and deep.
May the Lord grant us the discipline and the joy of remembering what He has done for us so that we will cherish the freedom He has given us from the deadly effects of sin on our souls.
Tim Tomlinson President Bethlehem College & Seminary
Tony Merida at The Extra in the Ordinary seminar April 8, 2016
1. Praise the Lord for another amazing year at Bethlehem College & Seminary! We graduated another 50+ students, and many of them are already engaging in important and exciting ministry opportunities.
2. Please pray for these same graduates that their transitions from their schooling to wherever the Lord has called them would go smoothly.
3. Please pray for our faculty and staff as we enter the summer season of vacations, preparations for the coming school year, and study and writing for those who are working on dissertations and/or book projects.
4. Please also be in prayer for the admissions team as we finalize the new college cohorts for the fall semester. Ask the Lord to fill out the remaining slots with just the right students in the next few weeks.
5. Please keep praying for our fiscal year-end giving during the next four weeks. Join us in asking the Lord to bring in the remaining Serious Joy Scholarships needed to reach 250 for the year.