The end of May brings us to Memorial Day, a day we remember the men and women who sacrificed life for the sake of our freedom.
Sacrifice is not a popular word or concept these days, but sacrifice is what we do for those we love and for the ideals we love. I think all of us make sacrifices each and every day. The question is do our sacrifices have meaning? Some examples are obvious, the sacrifices parents make for the sake of their children or the sacrifices a student makes to earn his or her degree. But what about those times when it is not clear to us that our sacrifice serves any greater purpose?
I think most religious traditions tell us that the small stuff does matter. I know in Christianity we have hope that in the end God will make all creation new. We also believe that we are called to be co-creators of this new creation. Each of us has a small part to play in bringing forth God’s justice and peace. The small choices, those little sacrifices, may not seem like much — but what if no one bothered to take the time for small acts of service and kindness?
It is my hope that we always remember the sacrifices made by all who have died for our freedom. It seems to me that one of the best ways for us to remember them is to follow in their footprints. I don’t mean we all need to join the military, but I think we do all need to become more aware of the little ways we can help others. When we sacrifice we honor those who died and we offer our small contribution to the work of God.