1 Peter 2:17
Seems such a coincidence, Memorial Day weekend all jumbled up with Pentecost Sunday. Yet if you take the time, you can see the parallels. And if you take the time, though usually it’s through tears, you’ll see the true costs involved in living free and living fulfilled. Watch the care and attention given most anything, and you can usually determine the level of its cost. And nothing awakens our ability to value life like seeing life sacrificed and given for it.
Some make it a family event (the grandkids and grandparents are usually conspicuously loud!), lining the Memorial Day parade routes with flag waving multi-generational fervor! Others choose to honor the fallen with graveside flowers, while others attend the speeches and memorials of the heroism, bravery and logic behind defending the privileges of our liberties.
And with so many of our brothers and sisters now persecuted (some being martyred for their faith in Jesus), liberties at home to speak freely and convene publicly in His Name becomes even more appreciated. Enemies, both foreign and domestic, have attacked our shores and systems for centuries, hoping to destroy the freedoms and privileges we now enjoy. But to this good hour, our militias and military (and many a praying family) have withstood their evil. The price has been paid by the bloodshed of our brothers and sisters in uniform, and a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices we’ll always hold.
So slow life down for a moment and consider: every time we exercise our right to vote, speak, bear arms, convene or stand in any other prized position of liberty, we honor the sacrifice of those who died for those liberties. And also in doing so, we elevate and esteem the precious freedoms of conscious that so many in other places are in peril for even attempting to use.
Yet on a far higher level of conscious and liberty, we also remember the Hebrew feast of Pentecost this weekend. Certainly the exodus of Israel from Egypt on that Passover night reminds us of God’s care of His enslaved people. And in the fifty days that followed, that first Pentecost where God met Moses on the mountain to give the Law (thus giving Israel nationhood status), became the OT type of our new found liberty in Christ. However, we never forget the severity of the Law’s introduction, the thousands that died and all the animal sacrifices offered to put it into effect! Blood was required for their annual conscious clearing, and the smell of death was always in the air.
Fast forward to Calvary, the Lamb slain for our ultimate liberty. Not a yearly purge of the conscious, but a conscious cleared once and for all from guilt to forever serve God joyfully! The death of a righteous Man somehow once and for all bore and atoned the sins of His unrighteous creation in His own crucified body! And to bring fruit from His death, He arose from the grave to appear before God for fulfilling the prophecy of giving us the Holy Spirit! Easter and that Passover weekend would have been the greatest letdown of all let downs if Pentecost and the Holy Spirit had not been its promised fruit!
So don’t quench the Spirit, nor grieve Him! The price of Jesus’ death and resurrection are worthy of our subjection to the Holy Spirit. He now indwells our bodies; let Him have them for His purposes! He burns within us as passionately as Jesus did! He’s as zealous in us as He was in Jesus’ body! Don’t extinguish through unbelief or lethargy the fervid work He, the Spirit yearns to perform! May the components needed for fire – oxygen, fuel and heat – never be suppressed or diminished in the hearts of we, the appreciative! He paid it all to give us all; to give Him our all is reasonable!
Happy Memorial Day! Be grateful! And above all, a joyful Pentecost to all who believe!