"We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
The mission of our nation is the same now as it was at its founding. The phrase "in order to" found in our Constitution stands out as a call to action and our divine purpose.
Our forefathers' mission was clear: "in order to form a more perfect Union" by "providing for the common defense and securing the blessings of liberty."
For our military, the defense of this nation has always started with "in order to." Every operation and every mission has a particular objective. We fight and engage the enemy when needed in order to: deny, delay, defend and defeat.
This Memorial Day, we recognize the role and sacrifice of our men and women in the military who serve and have served this great nation in order to "provide for the common defense." We also recognize and give thanks to God in order to "secure the blessings of liberty."
As Christians, we look to our ultimate Commander-in-Chief, Jesus. He set out with purpose and intention. His entire ministry is an orchestration of "in order to" sequences & maneuvers.
In Luke 19:10, Jesus states his ultimate objective: "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." In other words, Jesus came to earth in order to find and save humanity from sin. His overwhelming long-term objective was our eternity!
Additionally, in John 10:10, Jesus states a meaningful short-term objective for us while we are still on earth: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Jesus was concerned with our eternity and our lifetime on earth. Jesus came in order to ensure we would thrive on earth, not just survive.
These objectives (one long-term and one short-term) encapsulate a mindset and strategy that is good news for us indeed! Like a military tactician, Jesus set out to challenge the devil with this two-pronged attack and take back what mankind had given up so long ago in the garden. 1 John 3:8 states, "The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil."
Americans set Memorial Day aside as a time of reflection, appreciation and remembrance. We honor our fallen so their sacrifice will not have been in vain. We remember in order to secure our great nation and our way of life.
Likewise, as Christians, we remember, honor and value the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to secure our eternal destiny and purpose for living here on earth. We remember the sacrifice He gave in order to ensure eternal life for those who call out to Him and recognize Him as Savior.
Our forefathers set out to create a more perfect Union. As followers of Christ, may we be as intentional as they were to maintain and defend that Union. In His strength, may we lead by example in order to motivate, equip and educate others to get off the sidelines and into the game. Each one of us is vital to maintaining a more perfect Union.
As a veteran, I am proud and honored to have served our great nation. As a retired veteran, I'm blessed and grateful to have made it through my time in the service relatively intact. I have lost friends, classmates and roommates who, while serving, gave their last full measure of duty and devotion to this country. It is for them that Memorial Day was created. There is no easy way to cope with losing them too early. But we value their commitment and love of country when we take time to honor their memory.
To quote Ronald Reagan, "We're blessed with the opportunity to stand for something— for liberty and freedom and fairness—and these are things worth fighting for, worth devoting our lives to."
So, this Memorial Day, as we place flowers and flags in cemeteries, attend parades and take a moment of silence, we pray for the families of our fallen troops, that strength and peace would fill their homes and lives.
The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/OzkanOngel
LCDR Jason "Mac" McAlister served in the United States Marine Corps for 15 years, and another 8 years in the United States Navy. He began as an enlisted Marine in Special Operations. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he was commissioned as an Officer and flew AV-8B Harriers (VMA-214). He completed an inner service transfer to the Navy Reserves and flew T-45 Goshawks as a flight instructor until he retired in 2012.