The haunting bagpipe music filled the sanctuary and brought me to tears. Members of the local Legion joined our church service on Remembrance Day. Dressed in full uniform, they proceeded to the front of the sanctuary, flags in hand, where we committed a time of silence to remember. We remembered those who fought in battles for our freedom. This freedom came at a high price. Many lost their lives, while still others lost their emotional and physical health. As Pastor Jamie Nelder said, “The freedom is not cheap just because it is free.” There was a sacrifice that was paid on our behalf. We, as Canadians, have the freedom, the right and the privilege to say what we like, to go where we want and to worship as we desire. This is because of those who sacrificed for us.
But there is a greater sacrifice that was made on our behalf. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God sent His only Son to die for you and me, so that we can be right with Him.
Just as the cenotaph reminds us of those who fought in battles for our freedom, the cross of Christ reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice. This is a free gift to us, just waiting for us to accept it. But many have not accepted the fact that they are sinners – they have not accepted that they have said, done or thought things that were wrong. They have not accepted that Jesus died so that we could have God’s righteousness in our lives. They have not accepted this free gift. It is like a Canadian refusing to go to the hospital when it is their right and privilege to free health care.
This is a gift that I gladly accept, and I thank God every day for this gift of eternal life.