Somebody Died for Me: Memorial Day Honors Fallen Heroes, Highlights Gospel

 In All Church of God, CHOG

By Carl Stagner

Most people are familiar with the painful consequences of war. The price of freedom always comes too high, yet patriots in every nation on earth who’ve tasted liberty remain grateful for those who paid the ultimate price for freedom. A quartet with numerous hits on the southern gospel music charts over the past couple decades made a song famous that speaks to the debt of gratitude felt for such selfless sacrifice, yet brings the message back to the One who paid the price for true liberty. “Somebody died for me, before I even asked for help, gave his life for me, when I couldn’t save myself; I cannot live the way I lived or be the way I was. Every day’s a gift to me because somebody died for me.” In compelling prose, the Triumphant Quartet song alludes first to fallen military heroes, yet quickly zeroes in on the Savior who died for all. This Memorial Day weekend, several Church of God congregations have also found creative ways to honor fallen military heroes while shining the spotlight on the sacrificial Lamb.

Eleventh Street Church of God in Canton, Ohio, sought to give honor where honor is due during the Sunday service prior to Memorial Day. Aiming to “never forget” the lives of those lost serving God and country, they reached out to the congregation and community with the following invitation: “Please contact the Eleventh St. Church of God office if you have someone you would like recognized during this special Memorial Day Service on Sunday, May 26, 2024. During this service, we are remembering those in our congregation and military who have passed away in the last year.”

Hope Crossing in Sterling Heights, Michigan, scheduled a “Community Event Under the Tent” for the entire weekend. Featuring special musical presentations from the Hope Crossing Worship Team, as well as guest artists Timothy and Hosanna Noble, the community event is promoted as one for the whole family: face painting, cotton candy, bounce house, hot dogs and chips, as well as the opportunity to watch the community Memorial Day parade.

Benton Harbor, Michigan’s congregation called Crystal Springs made sure to observe Memorial Day, as well as offer helpful distinction between it and Armed Forces Day, observed on the third Saturday of May. As for Memorial Day, Pastor Bill Bridgman explained, “[It’s] a time of remembrance and gratitude. It’s a time when we look to the sacrifice of the brave men and women who have died in service to our country. When we think of them, it reminds us of the selfless sacrifice of Christ who taught that, ‘Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ You are invited to join us this Sunday as we honor those who have sacrificed for our freedom.” Like other Church of God congregations celebrating Memorial Day, Crystal Springs starts with fallen heroes of the military and brings it all back to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our eternal freedom.

Thank God for liberty!

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