Today, in the United States of America, is Memorial Day.
Memorial Day is a day when we remember those members of the US military, as well as other branches of government service, that gave their lives in defense of the land and values that we, as citizens of the United States, hold dear.
We have enshrined in our Declaration of Independence from Britain, "unalienable Rights"and "that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
As a nation, many have defended these Liberties over the years in many and various wars and battles fought not only on our own soil, and against our own kin, but on the soil of foreign nations against foreign peoples. Many individuals - men and women of all races and persuasions, along with men and women of many like-minded nations - have died in the defense of these Liberties, helping to preserve within the borders of the United States of America a civilization and lifestyle treasured by those who live here, and many more who envy, emulate, and covet the very Liberties we enjoy.
As a citizen of the United States of America, I recognize the gravity of every sacrificed life, every dreadful injury, and every damaged and broken family left behind by the ravages of war. I do give honor, my gracious thanks for their service, and grieve for every life taken in the defense of the United States of America.
Among the nations of the Earth, the United States of America has been a great nation, and beacon of hope to many. It is a nation within the borders of which I am very thankful that I was born, and have been given opportunity to enjoy the freedoms its borders provide.
As a citizen first of the Kingdom of God, with my utmost allegiance given to my God and my rightful King and Lord, Jesus, I am driven by a slightly different sentiment this Memorial Day.
I find that I'm learning that to mourn the death of a soldier is good and right to do, but not just the soldiers of the United States military. I'm finding that, with a view toward my citizenship in the Kingdom of God, which transcends national and tribal boundaries, every death in every conflict is something to be mourned.
I think that every death in every conflict is something that God mourns over, too.
John writes in the well known passage in John 3, that God so loved the entire world. Not just one nation over another, but the entire world. Jesus' sacrifice atones for the sins of the whole world, not just one nation over another. God's plan is to reconcile all of creation to himself, not any one nation over another.
1st John 2:2 says, "He himself (Jesus) is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world."
2nd Peter 3:9 states, "...He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent."
This Memorial Day, instead of praying blessings on our Nation in particular, I am moved to pray for the nations of the Earth in general.
I pray today for every family that has lost family members in war, in every nation of the Earth.
Every soldier is someone's son, daughter, father, mother, sister, brother, or friend.
Every soldier's death is mourned by a son, a daughter, a father, a mother, a sister, a brother, or a friend.
Without regard to border, tribe, religion or creed - every death is a loss.
God mourns every loss, without regard to border, tribe, religion or creed - He wants none to be lost, either to us here on Earth or to Him in eternity.
Memorial Day transcends our borders, in truth. As a Citizen of the Kingdom first, my Kingdom prayer is that God's will would be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
As a subject of the King, I am to follow His commands:
Love one another.
Love my enemies, bless them, and do good to them.
Forgive those who trespass against me.
Serve those who are less fortunate, and care for the poor and the widows.
And, as my citizenship in the Kingdom transcends earthly borders, so does the mission give to me by my King. My love for another must transcend borders.
So, this Memorial Day, I pray for and mourn all who have been lost in every war, in every nation. I pray for the day that war will be a distant memory, and I pray for the day when we beat our swords into plowshares, and live together in peace under the Kingship of Jesus.