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An Unpayable Debt

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time.  He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you home safely to God.

1 Peter 3:18a

In 1864, while the American Civil War was still being fought, three young women, Emma Hunter, Sophie Keller and Elizabeth Myers began the custom of decorating soldiers’ graves at a cemetery in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania.  They wanted to recognize the contributions of these brave soldiers from the village who had paid the ultimate price.  Today it has become customary to decorate graves with flowers as a sign of our deep affection for those who sacrificed their lives for us, and for those whose lives have touched ours.

But why wait till loved ones die?  Flowers are lovely, and the gesture of laying them on graves, heartfelt and generous.  It’s a tradition worth preserving.  However, flowers wither and those we honor in death cannot appreciate them as much as the living do.  I would dare say, the gesture benefits us, more than it does the deceased.  It helps us be at peace, that we honored the life of the deceased, but the truth is, their sacrifice is an unpayable debt.

Likewise, Christ’s death is an unpayable debt.  Christ suffered for our sins once for all time.  He touched our lives more impactfully than anyone else ever could.  He who never sinned, died, so that we might have an eternity with God. He gave up his life so that you and I might have life.  The only way we can honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation on Memorial Day, is to live lives worthy of their sacrifice.  And the only way we can honor Christ is by living lives worthy of His sacrifice.  So, in honor of Memorial Day, lay down those flowers wherever you choose and then reach out and touch someone’s life with a deep and unforgettable love that demonstrates your utmost gratitude for an unpayable debt.

Dear Lord, we try but we don’t know how to pay an unpayable debt.  Teach us how to live lives worthy of your sacrifice.  Teach us how to reach out and touch someone’s life in ways that make this a better world.  Thank you for reaching out and touching my life; because of you, I have a better future.  Father give me the strength to share bouquets of your truth, so that others might have a better future too.  Amen.