This morning I was meditating on 1 John 4:9-10. Probably because today is Veteran’s Day, scenes from the movie Saving Private Ryan began running through my imagination. I thought about this unit of men sent deep into enemy territory – into fear and pain, battle and struggle, suffering and death – for the sole purpose of finding and bringing home a beloved son. They didn’t know his character, whether he deserved the extreme cost. Their mission simply was to do anything and give everything for the sake of one man. They loved Private Ryan.
You are Private Ryan.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
The Father sent Jesus deep into enemy territory to find and bring you – his beloved daughter, his beloved son – home. He loves you.
As we remember, honor, and give thanks for our military veterans today – those “who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy” (p. 682, BCP 2019) – may we also give thanks for how their sacrificial love points us toward the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. “Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
You are a friend of Jesus.
I look forward to being with you again on Sunday!
Your Pastor in Christ,