Friday, July 21, 2017

Liberation Day

If something is

worth celebrating,

go ahead,


Kathy and I celebrated Liberation Day, today. Not only is it the first time that we have celebrated this uniquely Guam--actually Chamorro--holiday, it is the first time that I've been part of a celebration of a deliverance that was accomplished by my people' in the midst of the people who were liberated. A few years ago I was privileged to visit my Uncle's grave in Normandy. You could sense the welcome even after seventy years, but no one was throwing a party. Today was a major celebration. We watched the parade, and watched it, and watched it some more. We left before it was done. The Air Force must have flown Harleys in. Most if not all the villages of Guam had a float, all the military units on Guam were represented, there was an assortment of queens and princesses, and everything that rolls from hot-rods to mud-boggers, to cement trucks were shined up and on display.
During World War 2 Guam was occupied by Imperial Japan. Some folk became conscripted labor, and many were forced out of their homes. I read of one family who had to live in a cave. People were in real want, and some were abused or killed. I don't want to give you the idea that every thing was a bed of roses after the Americans showed up. It wasn't, but it was much better, and best, there was hope. As I watched the parade I thought about Jack Hicks, a young sailor on one of the big battleships out here in the Pacific, George Reynolds, who fought in the island hopping campaigns, and Mr. McCallister, a flight engineer on B24 bombers. I knew those guys, They were my friends. It was guys like them that led to this holiday. As I was leaving, I saw a group of Chamorro ladies. Taking a chance, because my question involved guessing their age, I asked them if any of them were here when Guam was liberated. Three said, "Yes." One, decked out in red, white, and blue, was fifteen when it took place. Another said that her dad was a P.O.W. and was set free as a result of the American victory. All over the island there are reminders of the sacrifice it took to take this island back. Those ladies recognize that when freedom comes as a result of dedication and sacrifice that it is worth remembering and celebrating.
I've been thinking about Liberation Day, the Liberty we have in Christ, and what it cost. Jesus told a group of religious leaders who rejected His claims, "If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed" (John8:36). Talking about the relationship that one has in Christ, 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty."
That's worth celebrating. Shine your car if you want to. Get out your motorcycle if you have one, but for sure, this Sunday when your church assembly sings praise to the Lord, cut loose and really praise Him.

It's STTA (Something To Think About). 

My fellow-servant, Joshua, sure has a good-looking family,
and they obviously know how to celebrate.


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