Freedom in the Midst of Freedom
by Kevin Thompson
“I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.” Psalm 119:45
Even though Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971, one of the first public “Memorial Day-like” tributes ever recorded was in 431 B.C. The Greek general, Pericles, delivered a funeral address, praising the sacrifice and valor of those killed in the Peloponnesian War. The speech has been lauded for its moving and lasting sentiment, compared, most memorably, to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Poignantly, in light of the last few months with the Coronavirus, Pericles died two years later from the plague which ravaged Athens. One-third of the population died, and modern physicians have concluded it was a measles outbreak, based on symptoms reported and recorded by the doctors and historians of the day.
Despite the solemnness of Memorial Day and all it entails, taking time to reflect does remind us of our freedom. The one overarching goal for which all the men and women honored on this day fought. And it’s the same overarching goal for which our brave men and women today fight.
For those of us who serve Almighty God—whether it be on the dirty battlefields of men or the spiritual battlefields of the eternal, this day should remind us of our freedom in Christ too. A freedom that reaches beyond war. Beyond heroes. Beyond even physical, political, or financial freedom. God’s precepts put to death, once and for all—as C. S. Lewis put it, “money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long, terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.” Freedom being at the top of that list.
Today, may we as believers seek after God’s precepts so we may be able to walk about in a freedom that surpasses all human understanding and gives hope to those in search of it.
Maranzani, Barbara. “8 Things You May Not Know About Memorial Day.” History.com. Original 24 May 2013. Updated 15 May 2019. Accessed 28 March 2020. <https://www.history.com/news/8-things-you-may-not-know-about-memorial-day>
Horgan, John. “The Plague at Athens, 430-427 B.C.” Original 24 Aug. 2016. Accessed 28 March 2020. <https://www.ancient.eu/article/939/the-plague-at-athens-430-427-bce/>
Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. (Collier Books; MacMillan Publishing Company, 1943), pp. 53-54.
Kevin Thompson’s award-winning debut novel, The Serpent’s Grasp, his latest novel, The Letters, and the first four books of his Blake Meyer Thriller series are available! Book 5, A Pulse of Time, and Book 6, Devil of a Crime, come out this year! You can find Kevin @ www.ckevinthompson.com/!