For Our Freedom

Today, many of us are blessed with an extra day off.  The intent of this day is that we might honor veterans, both those whom have served, and those who are still serving.  An automatic response of mine, anytime there is such a day, is to make some sort of personal connection so that the day is more meaningful.  My mind instantly drifts to images of my late grandfather.  Though he is no longer with us, he was an incredible example of one who was willing to lay down his life for the good of his country, family, and friends.  He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army, and then went on to serve as a prison guard at one of the toughest penitentiaries on the West Coast.  Despite his ability to command the respect of men, he was tender, gentle and kind with his grandkids and loved ones.

Several of my former students have also gone on to serve in our armed forces.  I am so grateful for the sacrifices that so many men and women are willing to make, in order to preserve the freedoms we know and love.  As I read in I Corinthians this morning, the following verse is lived out daily, by those who serve: “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” – (I Corinthians 10:24)  May we listen for His voice, so that we too, may know how He would have us seek the good of others.

For freedom they fight,

so we may enjoy;

all that we now know,

our rights to employ.

This freedom’s not free,

cost much sacrifice;

time, blood, sweat and tears,

oft ultimate price.

Take not for granted,

these freedoms we know;

remember the cost,

and gratitude show.

Thank you all soldiers,

and those who support;

today we honor,

come close and consort.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the men and women who have answered the call to protect our country, near and far.  Please protect every service member, and help them to know how very near You are.  May each veteran and serving soldier feel honored today, and may we as a nation, be more supportive of our troops.  Forgive us for taking our freedoms for granted, and help us to do whatever You call us to, to honor and support those who are serving our country, and their families that are left behind.  Teach us how to trust You more, so that we may love like You in all things and at all times.  May the love that we show lead many to a lasting relationship with You.  Above all, be glorified through our every action.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The Power of His Name

The Power of His NameWhen the time had come,

and prayers were all said,

a band of soldiers,

by Judas were led.

Into the garden,

priests and Pharisees,

with torches and swords,

to find Nazarene.

Because He did know,

that for Him they came;

He met them and spoke,

let them know His Name.

As the group asked Him,

to confirm they’d found;

with power He spoke,

they fell to the ground!

Such grace-filled courage,

Jesus did display;

what was coming, known,

He chose to obey.

‘Twas His great love,

He willingly went;

the path had been set,

His life to be spent.

Because He answered,

He heeded the call;

we now have the key,

forgiveness for all.

(Responding to John 18:1-6)

Dear Jesus, I cannot even begin to fathom the depth of Your great love for us, as You stood before the soldiers, who were there to take You to Your death. I am in awe of not only Your power, but their response to it. Though I have read this passage many times, this is the first time that I could actually see, in my mind’s eye, the group who had come to arrest You, falling to the ground as You spoke Your Name! Thank You for willingly walking the long and painful road to Calvary, and for taking our sin and shame upon Yourself, so that we may be released from the blame. Thank You for defeating death, so that we might have life. Though we deserve it not, thank You. Please forgive us for the moments when our words and deeds deem that we do not know You. Teach us to live and love as we are called to do, and may we be vessels from which Your goodness and grace are poured out upon those who know you not yet, Your embrace. Heavenly Father, may many come to know just how great Your love is, and may they forever choose to follow You. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present