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Spiritual matters

Remember sacrifice of Memorial Day

May 26, 2010 - We will soon be celebrating Memorial Day. I love to celebrate holidays like this. As a person who loves history, I understand the impact the past has on the present.

I especially like the aspect of this holiday, where we are commemorating the impact of the lives sacrificed for us on the field of battle.

When I was a kid, I remember my mom telling me about her brother who was killed in World War II.

He was actually killed by friendly fire, or Allied bombs, dropped in the confusion of the intensity of the battle.

The older I get, the more important to me the concept of the youth who sacrificed for us, but never had the opportunity to share in the great prosperity of our nation in the years following the war.

My mom told a story of her own mother who was warned in a dream of the loss of her son the night before they got the message. Grandma of course broke in the pain of the loss of her son, but found comfort in the dream as it made her sense the sovereignty and concern of God from the warning she received from Him!

Oh the suffering of those years and what great prosperity and blessing it purchased for us.

We are living in a day when suffering and pain are seen as the enemy. It is certainly true that we should all want to avoid needless suffering and pain, but we also need to recognize the great benefit that pain has to offer. The greatest blessings in life will most certainly also involve pain.

Marriage is a great example of this concept. The Bible declares that marriage is a gift given to us by God. In the beginning, when God created man He said, "it is not good for man to be alone I will create a helper suitable for him."

We surely need help in life, but what we need to help us oftentimes is just the opposite of what makes life pleasant. The woman that God made for Adam was one who would stand opposite of him. The word in the original translation literally means "one who stands in opposition to someone."

To reach one's highest potential in life, we often need someone to stand against us and convince us to do perhaps even what we do not want to do.

This concept alone will provide it's irritants, but then add the human perspective of all the other differences between a man and a woman and one can certainly agree with the author who wrote the book, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus."

It is obvious that the only way an arrangement like this can work is for pain and suffering to be a part of the equation.

Unfortunately, one of the greatest contributors to the high rates of marriage failure is our unwillingness to sacrifice ourselves and accept the pain necessary for long-term happiness.

The Bible tells us that God wanted a bride. This bride is the church—the collective of His people.

He wanted us so much that He was willing to pay the ultimate price. He gave His only begotten son for us by sacrifice on the cross, but it doesn't just stop there.

The Bible also says that if God was willing to offer such a sacrifice for us when we were just sinners, how much more is He willing to pay the price for us to become everything He wants us to be. What sacrifice to remember!

The Rev. Loren Covarrubias is pastor of Mt. Zion Temple.

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