Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Memorial Day, established after the American Civil War, is a day we remember and honor those who died to preserve freedoms many in our nation take for granted. We honor brave service men and women, like Chaplain George Fox, who died to ensure others can live, speak, and worship freely within the nation’s laws. We thank God for their sacrifice.

It’s also fitting to remember others who sacrificed so we can receive the most important freedoms of all – freedom from the devil’s tyranny of sin and death. God has called many faithful men and women to proclaim His word to a world living in darkness. They risked – and often lost – their lives for the sake of the gospel. Faithfully, under extreme hardship, they served God by speaking His truth into darkness. 

Jesus tells Peter, “‘I tell you the truth … when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.’  Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.” (John 21:18-19) Despite knowing his fate, Peter boldly proclaimed the gospel. He challenged the most powerful saying, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified … Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:36,38) – and 3000 souls were baptized. Eventually, Peter was crucified, upside down, during Emperor Nero’s Christian persecution in 64 A.D.

As you celebrate Memorial Day, remember and honor those who sacrificed their lives for us. Also, give God thanks for His countless faithful servants who sacrificed their lives to bring us God’s word of truth – the word of God that frees us from the tyranny of sin, death, and the devil through the ultimate sacrifice – the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

                                                                                        In Christ’s Love,

                                                                                        Pastor Jim