We made it home from Virginia! It was a full day and we were traveling through the no-service mountains for much of it, so I am posting a little later than I was hoping to.
I did get my reading and running in for the day. Several of us went out first thing in the morning to get our daily 5k. Mark, Nate, and I ran 3.1 miles at an average pace of 9:13 per mile for a total run time of 28 minutes and 54 seconds. We just ran from the hotel and went discovering a 5k route. It was fun.
Much of my day was spent at the Steve Wingfield 5th Annual Memorial Day Community Celebration at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg, VA. It was a great event. I met Steve Wingfield several years ago when he was putting on an event in Kidron, OH and we have stayed in contact to some extent ever since. I like him. He is a good guy. I was excited to be able to be a part of his annual community event.
The event featured a car show, food vendors, and some great music, as well as a message from Steve and a moment dedicated to honoring the men and women in the crowd who had served the country through the armed forces. I was personally invited to be a part of honoring the soldiers, and it was a special moment. I had a medal that we hung around their neck, then shake their hand and personally thank them for their service.
In doing this, and in thinking about Memorial Day, I am reminded of a verse of scripture that we read yesterday.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13
I truly feel blessed to live in a nation with freedom and (at least some level of) peace. I don’t want to take it for granted. Men and women have willingly died for us to gain and keep that freedom and peace. There really is evil in this world, and though our battle is not ultimately against flesh and blood (it is against Satan!), evil often corrupts flesh and blood and needs to physically be stopped. Stopping evil can come at a great price, which is the reason that we celebrate Memorial Day. We remember those who have given their lives for us.
I think it is right to think of passages like John 15:13 in light of Memorial Day, but that is obviously not the truest true meaning of the verse. The verse is actually speaking of Jesus, and his willingness to lay down his life on the cross for our spiritual freedom and (complete) peace.
Today, for the fourth time this month, we read about the crucifixion of Jesus. It is astonishing every single time.
Thank you, Jesus, for laying down your life for mine. Thank you for your infinite love. Thank you for your intimate grace. Thank you for eternal life!