No Greater Love
Saving Private Ryan is a film by Steven Speilberg depicting how WWII Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines searching for Private James Ryan to bring him back home. They received the mission after Ryan’s other three brothers died in combat. Throughout their quest to find Ryan, they face the brutal realities of war and see how each man wrestles with their situation with honor, decency, and courage.
One of the most powerful scenes in the movie is at the end after Miller sacrifices his life for Ryan. Mortally wounded, Ryan cradles Miller while he’s dying and tells Ryan to “Earn this. Earn it.” As the camera stays focused on a young Ryan looking at Miller, he transitions to an elderly Ryan staring at the gravesite of Captain John Miller at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
Visiting with his family, he kneels at his grave and contemplates all that Miller did for him, and pays tribute to them. He then says he’s done the best he could with his life and hope’s it’s been enough, that’s he’s earned it. Ryan’s wife then approaches him and, with a look of sadness, asks his wife to confirm he’s led a “good life” and that he’s a “good man.” She replies, “You are.”
This film is a powerful example of the selfless sacrifice of so many brave soldiers. They gave their lives so that others may live. It’s also an example of what Christ did for us on the cross when he took our place and died for our sins. However, we need not earn it; instead, we receive this gift of salvation and live a worthy life in appretiation.
Answer and Journal the Following
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Pray and thank God for all those who’ve sacrificed their life. Most importantly, thank Jesus.
Meditate / Memorize:
Contemplate and meditate on or memorize the passage. What is God saying to you? Then, determine what you will do with what you’ve learned.
Share what you’ve learned with someone else.